Letters to the King of Mari: A New Translation, with Historical Introduction, Notes, and Commentary 9781575065441

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Letters to the King of Mari: A New Translation, with Historical Introduction, Notes, and Commentary

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Letters to the King of Mari

General Editor Jerrold S. Cooper, Johns Hopkins University Editorial Board Walter Farber, University of Chicago Marvin Powell, Northern Illinois University Jean-Pierre Grégoire, C.N.R.S. Jack Sasson, University of North Carolina Piotr Michalowski, University of Michigan Piotr Steinkeller, Harvard University Simo Parpola, University of Helsinki Marten Stol, Free University of Amsterdam Irene Winter, Harvard University 1. The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur Piotr Michalowski 2. Schlaf, Kindchen, Schlaf! Mesopotamische Baby-Beschwörungen und -Rituale Walter Farber 3. Adoption in Old Babylonian Nippur and the Archive of Mannum-mesu-lißßur Elizabeth C. Stone and David I. Owen 4. Third-Millennium Legal and Administrative Texts in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad Piotr Steinkeller and J. N. Postgate 5. House Most High: The Temples of Ancient Mesopotamia A. R. George 6. Textes culinaires Mésopotamiens / Mesopotamian Culinary Texts Jean Bottéro 7. Legends of the Kings of Akkade: The Texts Joan Goodnick Westenholz 8. Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography Wayne Horowitz 9. The Writing on the Wall: Studies in the Architectural Context of Late Assyrian Palace Reliefs John M. Russell 10. Adapa and the South Wind: Language Has the Power of Life and Death Shlomo Izre'el 11. Time at Emar: The Cultic Calendar and the Rituals from the Diviner’s Archive Daniel E. Fleming

Letters to the King of Mari A New Translation, with Historical Introduction, Notes, and Commentary

Wolfgang Heimpel

Eisenbrauns Winona Lake, Indiana 2003

ç Copyright 2003 by Eisenbrauns. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Heimpel, Wolfgang. Letters to the king of Mari : a new translation, with historical introduction, notes, and commentary / Wolfgang Heimpel. p. cm. — (Mesopotamian civilizations ; 12) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-57506-080-9 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Akkadian language—Texts. 2. Assyro-Babylonian letters. 3. Mari (Extinct city)—History—Sources. I. Title. II. Series. PJ3721.M3H45 2003 492u.1—dc22 2003019783

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. †‘

Contents Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Technical Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Explanations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

x xiii xiii xiii xiv xiv xv xix

Part 1 Reconstructing the History of Mari 1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A. Discovery of the Royal Archive of Mari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Reading and Interpreting the Tablets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C. The Geographic Orbit of Mari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 6 7

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Territory of the Kingdom of Mari 7 Hilly Arc 9 Northern Plains 10 Southern Mesopotamia 11 Mountain Lands in the East and the North The West 12


D. Languages and Peoples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Amorites 14 2. Akkadians and Amorites in Southern Mesopotamia 3. Suteans 25 4. Groups That Cannot Be Linked to a Language and Whose Ethnicity Cannot Be Defined 29


E. The Hana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. Hana Encampments 30 2. Encampments Outside the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains 32 3. Transhumance 33 4. The Term Hana 34






2. Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

On the Eve of Hammu-Rabi’s Unification of Mesopotamia The Tin Factor 38 The Last Days of Zimri-Lim’s Predecessor 38 The Early Years of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 42 Calendrical Problems 54


B. Clash between Elam and Babylon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Elam 56 Elam’s Conquest of Esnuna 57 An Elamite Ploy Backfires 58 Elamite Moves from Esnuna 59 Events around Upi 60 A Battle with the Elamites and the Sack of Kasalluk Chronological Considerations 63


C. Events in the North . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.

Attempted Coup-d’État in Ekallatum 64 Death of Qarni-Lim and Prelude to the Siege of Razama First Phase of the Siege of Razama 66 Continuation of the Siege of Razama 67 Chronology of the Continuation of the Siege 69 Askur-Addu’s Entrance into Subat-Enlil 69 Kunnam’s Entrance into Subat-Enlil 70 Haya-Sumu’s Submission to Elam 71 Zimri-Lim Leaves for Razama 73 Turning Point 75 Arrest of Ibni-Addu 77 Conflict between Yamßum and Ustasni-El 78 The Unhappy Marriage of Kirum 80 Atamrum Changes Sides 82 Kunnam Hands over Subat-Enlil to Simat-Huluris 83 Atamrum Becomes the New Master of Subat-Enlil 84 Taki’s Rescue of Subat-Enlil 86 The End of Ibni-Addu 86 The Flour Problem 87 An Alleged Oath Violation 88

33. Mariote Troops Come to Babylonia 89 34. Reports of a Diviner Who Accompanied Troops Going to Babylonia 94 35. Support from Yamhad and Zalmaqum 95 36. Babylonian Troops Come to Mari 97 37. Elamite Moves in ZL 9u 100 38. Babylonian and Elamite Troops Move into Position 101 39. Isme-Dagan Joins Coalition against Elam 102 40. Siege of Hiritum 103 41. During the Siege of Hiritum 105 42. Date of the Siege of Hiritum 106



D. Back in the South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

spread is 6 points long



Contents 43. 44. 45. 46. 47.


Elamite Withdrawal 107 A New King in Esnuna 108 A New Order 109 Renewal of Relations with Elam 110 Mariote Troops Return Home 111

E. Back in the North . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70.

Atamrum Becomes King of Andarig 114 Haya-Sumu’s Star Is Fading 115 Atamrum Besieges Asihum and Adallaya 117 Sadu-Sarrum Aborts His Plan to Go to Mari 119 A Thaw in Relations between Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Atamrum 120 Askur-Addu Becomes King of Karana 121 Yasim-El Goes to Karana 124 Revolt by Kukkutanum 125 Askur-Addu’s Trip to Mari 126 Habdu-Malik Sets Out on a Peace Mission to Andarig and Kurda 127 First Attempt to Establish Peace between Kurda and Andarig 128 Habdu-Malik Visits Karana 131 Habdu-Malik’s Mission Fails 131 Treaty between Atamrum and Askur-Addu 133 The Ekallatean Attack on Nusar 135 Isme-Dagan Withdraws from Urzikka 136 Events in the Fifth Month 137 Isme-Dagan’s Last Hurrah 139 Esnuna Withdraws from Ekallatum 141 Sasiya Cheats Isme-Dagan 145 The Issue of Amaz 146 A Flap between Andarig and Karana 149 Sadu-Sarrum Finally Goes to Mari 149

F. North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations . . . . . . . . 150 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

Conquest of Maskan-Sapir 150 During the Siege of Larsa 151 Before the Fall of Larsa 154 The Fall of Larsa 155 Atamrum’s Return from Babylonia 157 Babylon Builds a Bridgehead at Allahad 158 Inbatum’s Troubles 159 End of Zimri-Lim and Mari 161

Part 2 Translations 3. Introduction to Translations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Creating a Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Searching for Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 Creating Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169



4. Translation of Texts from ARM 26/1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 1–3: Texts Concerning Extispicy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4–88: Letters from and to the Diviner Asqudum and Namesakes . . . . . 90–167: Letters from and about Other Diviners and Their Namesakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168–172: Letters from Yamina Diviners to the Leader of a Revolt against Zimri-Lim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173–190: Further Letters Concerning Divination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191–222: Messages to and from Gods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224–240: Letters about Dreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241–248: Letters about Ominous Occurrences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249–257: Reports on River Ordeals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259–283: Letters Mostly Concerned with Illness and Disease . . . . . . . .

174 176 211 239 242 248 263 269 272 277

5. Translations of Texts from ARM 26/2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 284–298: Letters from Ußur-Awassu to Yasmah-Addu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300: Document Concerning Ußur-Awassu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301–356: Letters from the Garrison in Ilan-Íura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357–360: Letters from Yanuh-Samar in Subat-Enlil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361–375: Letters from Yarim-Addu in Babylon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376–386: Letters from Other Mariote Officers in Babylon . . . . . . . . . . . 387–400: Letters from Habdu-Malik on His Mission in the Hilly Arc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401: Letter from Menirum on the Situation in the Hilly Arc . . . . . . . . 402–442: Letters from Mariote Officers in Andarig, Chiefly from Yasim-El . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443–51: Letters from Persons Named Yanßib-Addu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 452–471: Letters from Abi-Mekim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 474–508: Letters from Buqaqum and Kibsi-Addu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 510–528: Letters from Iddiyatum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 530–50: Letters from Íidqum-Lanasi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

284 289 289 314 317 328 334 342 343 371 375 382 394 404

6. Translations of Texts from ARM 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411 1–24: Letters from Governor Ilsu-Naßir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25–97: Letters from Governor Zakira-Hammu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99–170: Letters from Governor Zimri-Addu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173–177: Letters from Governor Yatarum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

411 419 442 470



7. Translations of Additional Texts Published in Various Places . . . . 472 Texts Providing Additional Documentation for the Events during ZL 9u–11u . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 472 Letters Supplementing the Texts Published in ARM 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . 515

Part 3 Indexes Index of Individuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525 Index of Group Designations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571 Index of Place-Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 605 Appendixes Appendix 1 Sumerian Personal Names in Mari Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 2 Names of Suteans in Old Babylonian Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 3 Conflict with Esnuna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 4 Events during ZL 2 X–XII according to Records of Oil Expenditures Published in FM 3 22–128 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 5 Kings Informed by Mari of Impending Esnunakean Attack in ZL 2u according to A.3591 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 6 Timeline of Events during ZL 9u–11u . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 7 Sequence of Key Events in Section 66 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix 8 Ominous Parts and Marks of the Liver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

632 634 637


640 641 655 656

Foreword The bane of my teaching career was a course on Mesopotamian history. It was on the books when I started teaching, an entry-level course designed to create enthusiasm for ancient Mesopotamian studies among large numbers. I quickly succeeded in reducing numbers and enthusiasm to an embarrassingly low level. It was then agreed that I was probably not a generalist—which is true—and might be better employed teaching the course in the upper division of undergraduate study, but this did not help much either. I tried my best; I tried different formats, but the course essentially remained a failure. The textbooks were one problem. There are quite a number of books that can be used, but I disliked most and ended up warring against them, which left my poor students in disconcerting cross-fire. Two I liked, but one was written in an exotic language, and the students complained about the other, calling it “too negative,” because the author kept pointing out what could not be known. The other problem was my impression that the sources available to us do not add up to something that could properly be called history. I felt I was producing a dry mix of historical facts, subjective interpretations, supposed evolutionary trends, science-fictional trajectories, legends, anecdotes, bits of Assyriological history, bits of archaeology, and bits on land, geology, climate, and agriculture. When the eyes of my students glazed over, I told them that history was a dry subject and that this was the reason the mouse told the history of the Napoleonic Wars to Alice and her company in Wonderland—they were wet and wanted to get dry. But I knew that this anecdote was misleading, because there is no documentation for any part of Mesopotamian history that could be compared to the documentation on the Napoleonic Wars. Drawing up the plan for yet another year of the course “Mesopotamian History,” I decided to use the insular approach, identifying the islands within the thousands of years of Mesopotamian history where documentation is least unsuitable for the reconstruction of events. Surveying such islands in my mind, I remembered Mari. While occupying myself with all kind of things in the wide world of ancient Mesopotamia, I was dimly aware of the fact that the stream of publication of texts from the palace archives of Mari had changed from a creek under the direction of Dossin to a river under his successor, Durand. The documentation had become so massive that I hesitated to touch it. But, being in a funk about the prospect of yet another failure in teaching Mesopotamian history, I finally reached for one of the new, large, thick volumes of Mari letters. It was ARM 26/2. I opened it in the middle and perx



ceived the transliteration of a long, well-preserved letter numbered 404. I read: “To my lord speak! Your servant Yasim-El (says), ‘On the third day after we entered Andarig, Atamrum sent his servant Hittipanum to Askur-Addu, (saying), “Come and let us meet in Íidqum!” Íidqum is not the city in Saggar. It is the city named Íidqum in the border region of Numhum-Karana and upper Yamutbal. Eteya, the senior singer of Askur-Addu, came to Andarig and took the lead of Atamrum. Atamrum, together with the troops of his alliance and the kings that were with him, went to ªÍidqumº to meet Askur-Addu.’ ” In these lines, the mere beginning of the letter, there was more history than I had found and taught in my years as instructor of Mesopotamian history. I was shocked, ashamed, and hooked. I sat down and translated this letter, and 405, and 406, and so on. I told my class that I would give them a survey of Mesopotamian history during the first half of the semester, and, for the second half, we would look at the documentation from Old Babylonian Mari. I rapidly translated one Mari letter after the other and realized that most of the letters in 26/2 were written during the 11th through the 13th years of Zimri-Lim’s reign. And since I did not know the documentation of the remainder of Zimri-Lim’s regnal years, little of the documentation on his predecessor Yasmah-Addu, and next to nothing about the remaining documentation from Mari, I told my class at the end of the survey that we had so far looked at the history of Mesopotamia as the traveler looks down on the land from an airplane, and that we would now crash-land in a place called Mari and look at land and life from close up. Easily said. The fewest letters were dated, and while the editors of 26/2 had tried to fix their sequence on the basis of clues from their contents, I found it often difficult or outright impossible to tell my students a coherent story by adopting their conclusions. So I tried to put the documentation in a chronological order that appeared logical to me. Such a thing is not done overnight. The course turned out to be another failure that year. But it showed me what needed to be done: an English translations of the Mari letters and an improved chronological arrangement of the letters where that was possible. Now, many years later, I am presenting translations of the letters that were published in ARM 26/1, 26/2, and 27. I have only left out a few fragmentary letters that do not contribute any information. On the other hand, I have added translations of letters from other publications that document my reconstruction of events during three consecutive years of Zimri-Lim. This reconstruction grew out of teaching the history course, and, while it is far from a synthesis of all presently available sources, it is my hope that readers interested in the “dry” sequence of events will benefit from it. In essence this book is a translation of roughly one-third of the epistolary material from Old Babylonian Mari that has been published so far. At least, it is a beginning. I am happy to acknowledge help and support. J.-M. Durand collated several passages for me. J. Sasson shared his extensive bibliography and commented on parts of my manuscript. J. Cooper communicated the results of his readings of letters reporting on prophecies, many of which I adopted. M. Anbar referred me to literature that I had overlooked.



My daughter Doron Partyka patiently and intelligently listened to endless ruminations on Mari and Akkadian on many walks and helped me to clarify my thoughts. My son Daniel Heimpel produced the maps that were used as a base for the final version of the maps, which were produced by the graphics department at Eisenbrauns. I discussed most translations word by word and phrase by phrase in countless hours with Emmanuelle Salgues. Without her help, they would not be what they are. I am grateful to Jerry Cooper for accepting my manuscript for publication in “Mesopotamian Civilizations.” Last, and not least, I feel deep appreciation for the work done by the editors of the letters that are translated here.

Technical Information Conventions The first initials of oft-quoted authors are not given. An exception is “S(ophie) Lafont,” which distinguishes her from “(Bertrand) Lafont.” Citation # = publication and number of text or note. But citation, # (with a comma between) = publication and page number. For example: OBRT 3, LAPO 17 771, NABU 1999 65; but LAPO 17, 324 (referring to p. 324). Lack of citation = Archives royales de Mari. For example: 26 162 = Archives royales de Mari 26, text 162. + A plus sign after a text quotation indicates that more than one numbered text is combined to form a joint text. For example A.486+ stands for A.486 joined to M.5319. ZL n = regnal year of Zimri-Lim. 1 I 1 = 1st day of the 1st month of the 1st regnal year of Zimri-Lim. Conforming to convention, I count the regnal years of ZimriLim 1, 2, 1u, 2u, etc. I do not yet follow the newest chronology, in which years 1 and 2 are collapsed into a single year. Citations of texts translated here and numbers of sections in part I are in bold.

Symbols [ ] Square brackets enclose broken sections; ª º half brackets enclose damaged sections with partially preserved signs. When the broken or damaged section is longer than one line, I indicate the exact or approximate number of broken lines. I do not use ª º where one obvious sign of a word, such as one expressing mimation, is missing, or partly damaged. The notation [n lines] occasionally indicates heavily damaged lines, n standing for the number of lines involved. “[n lines] at the beginning of a text is an abbreviation for [To . . . speak! . . . (says), “n lines]. { } Curly brackets enclose signs and words that were, in my opinion, left out erroneously by the scribe. I transcribe names according to presumed pronunciation. Transcribed “h” renders an aspirated guttural that was pronounced as a heavy Spanish “j.” I could have xiii


Technical Information

transcribed it “kh,” but this would have resulted in some monstrous transcriptions such as Khakhkhum instead of Hahhum. It followed that I could not use the transcription “sh” for the sound “sh,” as this would have represented “skh,” so I used “s.” I also use “†” and “ß” for the so-called “emphatic” “t” and “s.” The sound symbolized by ß is sometimes thought to represent a fricative “ts.” If it was close to Arabic pronunciation, it was rather palatalized.

Explanations (1) Koppelung. This is Kraus’s term for a sequence of two verbal predicates, in which the first modifies the type of action of the second and is most easily translated as an adverb modifying the second (F. R. Kraus, Sonderformen akkadischer Parataxe: Die Koppelungen [Amsterdam, 1987]). For example, ilqima Nabi-Sinma suzkursu lemu is literally, “he took and Nabi-Sin did not want to make him to declare (an oath),” where “he took and” modifies “did not want,” to render it ingressive. I translate, “At that point, Nabi-Sin did not want to make him declare (an oath).” (2) If not stated otherwise, (bold-face) references to sections indicate the sections of the reconstruction of events during the 11th to the 13th years of ZimriLim’s reign in part 1 of this book (pp. 37–163). Measurements Translation Length

Approximate metrical equivalence


2 cm


50 cm






60 m


10.8 km



0.36 ha

Dry Measure


1 l(iter)

half-bushel (panum)

60 l


100 l

bushel (Mari)

120 l

bushel (Babylon)

300 l


1,200 l




500 g


30 kg


Technical Information


Abbreviations A.# AbB AHw. AIPHOS ALM Amurru 1 Amurru 2 Anbar “Compte rendu” “Fin” “Origine Tribal” Tribus ANET 3 AOAT AoF ARM ASJ Birot, “Lettre” CAD Charpin “Apum” “Campagne” “Chronologie” “Elamites” “Engrenage” “Isme-Addu” “Kahat”

“L’akkadien” “Manger” “Passé”


registration number of texts fround in Mari Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung. Leiden, 1964ff. W. von Soden. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. 3 vols. Wiesbaden, 1965–81 Annuaire de l’Institut de Philologie et d’Histoire Orientales et Slaves. Brussels, 1936ff. A. Finet. L’accadien des lettres de Mari.” Académie royale de Belgique: Classes des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques. Mémoirs 51. Brussels, 1956 Mari, Ebla et les Hourrites: Dix ans de travaux, ed. J.-M. Durand. Paris, 1996 Mari, Ebla et les Hourrites: Dix ans de travaux, part 2, ed. J.-M. Durand and D. Charpin. Paris, 2001 M. Anbar. “Compte rendu d’ARM XXVI/1 et 2.” MARI 7 (1993), 385–98 “La fin du règne de Samsi-Addu I.” Pp. 7–13 in Mélanges Finet “L’origine tribale de Zimri-Lim, roi de Mari.” Pp. 7–10 in Mélanges Limet Les tribus amurrites de Mari. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 108. Freiburg, Switzerland, 1991 Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, ed. James B. Pritchard. 3d edition with supplement. Princeton, 1969 Alter Orient und Altes Testament. Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1969ff. Altorientalische Forschungen. Berlin, 1973ff. Archives Royales de Mari. Paris, 1950ff. Acta Sumerologica. Hiroshima, 1979ff. M. Birot. “La lettre de Yarîm-Lim No 72–39 + 72–8.” Pp. 127–35 in Mélanges Kupper Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. Chicago, 1956ff. D. Charpin. “Conclusions et perspectives: Tell Mohammed Diyab, une ville du pays d’Apum.” Cahiers de NABU 1 (1990), 117–22 “Une campagne de Yahdun-Lîm en Haute-Mésopotamie.” FM 2 (1994), 177– 200 “La chronologie des souverains d’Esnunna.” Pp. 51–66 in Mélanges Birot “Les Elamites à Subat-Enlil.” Pp. 129–37 in Fragmenta Historiae Elamicae: Mélanges offerts à M-J. Steve, ed. L. de Meyer et al. Paris, 1986 “De la vallée du Tigre au triangle du Habur: Un engrenage géopolitique?” Mémoirs de NABU 2 (1992), 97–102 “Un souverain éphémère en Ida-Maraß: Isme-Addu d’Asnakkum.” MARI 7 (1993), 165–91 “A Contribution to the Geography and History of the Kingdom of Kahat.” Pp. 67–85 in Tall al-Hamidiya 2, ed. S. Eichler, M. Wäfler, and D. A. Warburton. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis Series Archaeologica, Fribourg, 1990 “L’akkadien des lettres d’Ilân-Íurâ.” Pp. 31–40 in Mélanges Finet “Manger un Serment.” Pp. 85–96 in Jurer et maudire “L’évocation du passé dans le lettres de Mari.” Pp. 91–110 in Intellectual Life of the Ancient Near East: Papers Presented at the 43d Rencontre assyriologique internationale: Prague, July 1–5, 1996, ed. J. Prosecky. Prague, 1998 “Le contexte historique et géographique des prophéties dans les textes retrouvés à Mari.” Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies 23 (1992), 21–31

xvi “Sapiratum” “Subat-Enlil” “Traité” Charpin and Durand “Assur” “Fils” “Pouvoir” “Suzeraineté”

CT Dossin “Madarum”

Technical Information “Sapîratum, ville de Suhûm.” MARI 8 (1997), 341–66 “Subat-Enlil et le pays d’Apum.” MARI 5 (1987), 129–40 “Un traité entre Zimri-Lim de Mari et Ibâl-Pî-El II d’Esnunna.” Pp. 139–66 in Marchands “Assur avant l’Assyrie.” MARI 8 (1997), 367–91 “Fils de Simªal.” RA 80 (1986), 141–83 “La prise de pouvoir par Zimri-Lim.” MARI 4 (1985), 293–342 “La suzeraineté de l’empereur (Sukkalmah) d’Elam sur la Mésopotamie et le ‘nationalisme’ amorrite.” Pp. 59–66 in Mesopotamian History and Environment. Occasional Publications 1. Ghent, 1991 Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. London, 1896ff. G. Dossin. “Le madarum dans les ‘Archives Royales de Mari.’ ” Pp. 53–63 in Gesellschaftsklassen im Alten Zweistromland und in den angrenzenden Gebieten: XVIII Rencontre assyriologique internationale, München, ed. D. O. Edzard. Munich, 1972

Durand “Administrateurs” J.-M. Durand. “Administrateurs de Qa††unân.” FM 2 (1994), 83–114 “Espionnage” “Espionnage et guerre froide.” FM 1 (1992), 39–52 “Fragments” “Fragments rejoints pour une histoire elamite.” Pp. 111–28 in Fragmenta Historiae Elamicae: Mélanges offerts à M-J. Steve, ed. L. de Meyer et al. Paris, 1986 “Haute-Mésopotamie I” “Documents pour l’histoire du royaume de Haute-Mésopotamie, I.” MARI 5 (1987), 155–98 “Imar” “Cité-État d’Imâr à l’époque des rois de Mari.” MARI 6 (1990), 39–92 “Palais” “Palais de Mari (Textes).” Pp. 39–110 in Le système palatial en Orient, en Grèce et à Rome, ed. E. Lévy. Strasbourg, 1987 “Protocoles” “Précurseurs syriens aux protocoles néoassyriens.” Pp. 13–71 in Marchands “Réalités” “Réalités amorrites et bibliques.” RA 92 (1998), 3–39 “Talhayum” “Les anciens de Talhayûm.” RA 82 (1988), 97–113 “Trois études” “Trois études sur Mari.” MARI 3 (1984), 127–80 “Unité” “Unité et diversités au Proche-Orient à l’époque amorrite.” RAI XXXVIII (1992), 97–128 Durand and Guichard, “Rituels” “Les rituels de Mari.” FM 3 (1997), 19–82 FM Florilegium Marianum 1 Mémoires de NABU 1. Paris, 1992 2 Mémoires de NABU 3 (1994) 3 Mémoires de NABU 4 (1997) 4 N. Ziegler. Le Harem de Zimrî-Lîm. Mémoires de NABU 5 (1999) GAG W. von Soden. Grundriss der Akkadischen Grammatik. 3d edition. Rome, 1995 Geyer and Monchambert, “Prospection” B. Geyer and J.-Y. Monchambert. “Prospection de la moyenne vallée de l’Euphrat.” MARI 5 (1987), 293–344 Guichard “Dame de Nagar” M. Guichard. “Au pays de la Dame de Nagar.” FM 2 (1994), 235–72 “Guerre” “Les aspects religieux de la guerre à Mari.” RA 93 (1999), 27–48 “Présages” “Présages fortuits à Mari.” MARI 8 (1997), 305–28 Heimpel “Locusts” W. Heimpel. “Moroccan Locusts in Qa††unan.” RA 90 (1996), 101–20 “Sutawûm” “Sutawûm und Sutaptûm.” ZA 86 (1996), 163–69

Technical Information


IOS Israel Oriental Studies. Tel Aviv, 1971ff. JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society. New Haven, 1843ff. JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Baltimore, 1947ff. Jean, “Lettres de Mari IV” C.-F. Jean. “Lettres de Mari IV transcrites et traduites.” RA 42 (1948), 53–78 JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Chicago, 1942ff. Joannès “L’étain” F. Joannès. “L’étain, de l’Elam à Mari.” Pp. 67–76 in in Mésopotamie et Elam. Mesopotamian History and Environment: Occasional Publications 1. Ghent, 1991 “Routes” “Routes et voies de communication dans les archives de Mari.” Pp. 313–61 in Amurru 1 Jurer et Maudire Jurer et Maudire: Pratiques politiques et usages juridiques du serment dans le ProcheOrient ancien, ed. S. Lafont. Méditerranées: Revue de l’association Méditeranées publiée avec le concours de la Fondation Singer-Polignac 10– 11. Paris, 1997 Krebernik KTT M. Krebernik. “Tall Biºa / Tuttul II: Die Altorientalischen Schriftfunde.” 100. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichung der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft. Saarbrücken, 2001 Lacambre, “Hiritum” D. Lacambre. “La bataille de Hirîtum.” MARI 8 (1997), 431–54 Lafont, “Homme d’affaires” B. Lafont. “Un homme d’affaires à Karkemis.” Pp. 275–86 in Marchands “Messagers” “Messagers et ambassadeurs dans les archives de Mari.” RAI XXXVIII (1992), 167–83 LAPO Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient. Paris Leiderer Rosmarie Leiderer. Anatomie der Schafsleber im Babylonischen Leberorakel: Eine makroskopisch-analythische Studie. Munich, 1990 Lion, “Gouverneurs” B. Lion. “Les gouverneurs provinciaux du royaume de Mari à l’époque de ZimrîLîm.” Pp. 191–209 in Amurru 2 M.# registration number of texts found in Mari Marchands Marchands, Diplomates, et Empereurs: Études sur la civilisation mésopotamienne offertes à Paul Garelli, ed. D. Charpin and F. Joannès. Paris, 1991 MARI Mari: Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires. Paris, 1982ff. Maul, “Sparmassnahme” S. Maul. “Zwischen Sparmassnahme und Revolte . . . : Die Aktivitäten des Iasim-Sumû, des sandabakkum von Mari.” MARI 8 (1997), 755–73 Mélanges Birot Miscellanea Babylonica: Mélanges offerts à Maurice Birot, ed. J.-M. Durand and J.-R. Kupper. Paris, 1985 Mélanges Finet Reflets des deux fleuves: Mélanges A. Finet, ed. M. Lebeau and P. Talon. Accadica Supplementum 6. Leuven, 1989 Mélanges Kupper De la Babylonie à la Syrie, en passant par Mari: Mélanges offerts à Monsieur J.-R. Kupper à l’occasion de son 70e anniversaire, Textes, ed. Ö. Tunca. Liège, 1990 Mélanges Limet Tablettes et images aux pays de Sumer et d’Akkad, ed. Ö. Tunca and D. Deheselle. Association pour la promotion de l’histoire et d’archéologie orientales, Mémoirs 1. Liège, 1996 Mélanges Perrot Contribution à l’histoire de l’Iran: Mélanges Jean Perrot, ed. F. Vallat. Paris, 1990 NABU Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires. Paris, 1987ff. Nougayrol, “Rapports” J. Nougayrol. “Rapports paléo-Babyloniens d’haruspices.” JCS 21 (1969), 219–35 OBRT S. Dalley et al. The Old Babylonian Tablets from Tell Al Rimah. Hertford, 1976 Oppenheim, Letters A. Leo Oppenheim. Letters from Mesopotamia. Chicago, 1967



Technical Information personal name Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale. Paris, 1886ff. La circulation des biens, des personnes et des idées dans le Proche-Orient ancien: Actes de la XXXVIII e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Paris), 8–10 juillet 1991, ed. D. Charpin and F. Foannès. Paris, 1992 B. Groneberg. Die Orts- und Gewässernamen der altbabylonischen Zeit. Répertoire Géographique de Textes Cunéiformes 3. Wiesbaden, 1980 Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie. Berlin, 1928ff.

RLA Sasson “Apocalypticism” J. M. Sasson. “Mari Apocalypticism Revisited.” Pp. 285–98 in Immigration and Emigration within the Ancient Near East: Feschrift E. Lipinski, ed. K. Van Lerberghe. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 65. Leuven, 1995 “King” “The King and I: A Mari King in Changing Perceptions.” JAOS 118 (1998), 453–70 “Mari and the Bible” “About ‘Mari and the Bible.’ ” RA 92 (1998), 97–123 “Mari Dreams” “Mari Dreams.” JAOS 103 (1983), 283–93 “Messages” “The Posting of Letters with Divine Messages.” FM 2 (1996), 299–316 “Water” “Water beneath Straw: Adventures of a Prophetic Phrase in the Mari Archives.” Pp. 598–608 in Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield, ed. Z. Zevit, S. Gitin, and M. Sokoloff. Winona Lake, Ind., 1995 Starr I. Starr. The Rituals of the Diviner. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 12. Malibu, 1983 Stol History M. Stol. Studies in Old Babylonian History. Leiden, 1976 Trees On Trees, Mountains, and Millstones in the Ancient Near East. Leiden, 1979 Streck, Amurriter 1 M. P. Streck. Das amurritische Onomastikon der altbabylonischen Zeit. AOAT 271/1. Münster, 2000 Syria Syria: Revue d’art oriental et d’archéologie. Paris, 1920ff. Urbana-Yale itineraries A. Goetze. “An Old Babylonian Itinerary.” JCS 7 (1953), 51–74; and W. W. Hallo. “The Road to Emar.” JCS 18 (1964), 57–88 VAB 6 A. Ungnad, Babylonische Briefe aus der Zeit der Hammurapi-Dynastie. Leipzig, 1914. van Koppen, “Seized” F. van Koppen. “Seized by Royal Order: The Households of Sammêtar and Other Magnates at Mari.” FM 6 (2002) 289–372. Villard “Administrateurs” P. Villard. “Les administrateurs del l’époque de Yasmah-Addu.” Amurru 2 (2001), 9–140 “Kahat” “La place des années de ‘Kahat’ et d’‘Adad d’Alep.’ ” MARI 7 (1993), 315–28 “Nomination” “Nomination d’un Scheich.” FM 2 (1994), 291–97 “Roi” “Un Roi de Mari à Ugarit.” Ugarit-Forschungen 18 (1986), 387–412 Yuhong Wu Yuhong. A Political History of Eshnunna, Mari and Assyria. Changchun, China, 1994 ZA Zeitschrift für Assyriologie. Berlin, 1886ff. Ziegler, “Esclaves” N. Ziegler. “Deux esclaves en fuite à Mari.” FM 2 (1994), 11–21





500 km







Babylon Larsa

Tigr is






E h up ra tes






Map 1. Major kingdoms in the orbit of Mari at the time of Zimri-Lim.





xx Maps







Kurda Andarig

The lower course of the Euphrates and Tigris is the presumed main channel at the time

Location Certain

200 km



r bu Ha






lly Ar Hi c








Map 2. Major cities of Mesopotamia at the time of Zimri-Lim.



ab rZ


Sippir of Samas

we Lo



er Z Upp

Great Sippir





la ya Di

Maps xxi

is Tigr




























100 km








































20 19






Map 3. Cities in northern Mesopotamia.









Z r

pp e





xxii Maps





Locations of Northern Mesopotamian Cities on Map 3 For details on the locations, see the index of place-names.


City name

Identification or short description of location


City name

Identification or short description of location



Hirbet ed-Diniye



Tell Brak


Sa Hiddan 1

opposite Hindanu



in southern Idamaraß



Tell Hariri



Tell Farfara?



on west bank of Euphrates in district of Mari



southwest of Subat-Enlil



Tell Leilan



in district of Mari



station 8 on route to Kanis



Tell Abu Hassan? on east bank of Euphrates in district of Mari



station 7 on route to Kanis



it, Haburatum, and Burullum are station 6 on route to Kanis



Tell Ashara



at or near confluence of Habur and Euphrates


Razama of Uhakim

station 5 on route to Kanis


Dur YahdunLim

Tell Mohasan?


Razama, northern

eastern part of Northern Plains



south of Lasqum on east bank of Euphrates



Tell Afar?



Balad Sinjar?



Halebiye, on west bank of Euphrates



Tell Khoshi?



near Qa††ara



Tell Rimah



Tell Abu Mariya?


Ninet and Ninua







near Altin Köprü





Razama, southern

station 2 on route to Kanis



Tell Biºa



on Balih



on Balih



on Balih






on Habur



on Habur



on Habur south of ˇabatum



Tell ˇaban



station 15 on route to Kanis



near Assur



station 14 on route to Kanis





near Urgis

on west bank of Tigris, one day’s travel north of Assur



station 13 on route to Kanis




Tell Mozan


Jebel Abd el-Aziz

station 12 on route to Kanis



Jebel Jeribe


Jebel Sinjar

25 26

Urgis Nahur



between Subat-Enlil and Asnakkum



Jebel Ishkaft



station 11 on route to Kanis


Jebel Sasan



Tell Hamidiya?


Jebel Ibrahim

Many entries are placed according to their position on the route to Kanis and the Yale-Urbana itineraries. A forthcoming study of the route to Kanis by C. Michel was announced in 1987 (Charpin, “Subat-Enlil et le pays d’Apum,” MARI 5, 139 n. 53). I assume that “Apum” on that route is about 15 km west of Subat-Enlil and plot the stations between Qa††ara and that point. If “Apum” was Subat-Enlil, the route appears to run too far north. I also assume that the route bends slightly to the left (south) in the area of “Apum.” Asnakkum and Suna are placed according to the Urbana-Yale itinerary, and so are Serda, Ahuna, and Zalpah on the Balih. The localities of Serda and Ahuna could be exchanged.


Haradum r

a n O a s e

Map 4. Central Mesopotamia.









u e




S t














xxiv Maps

hrat es

ri Tig s



33° Sippir-of-Samas

Great Sippir Hiritum

is Tigr


Map 5. The Tri-Delta Area.




20 km

bi Zu




Kar Samas



Maps xxv




Part 1

Reconstructing the History of Mari

Chapter 1


A. Discovery of the Royal Archive of Mari Upstream from Abu Kemal, the first town on the Euphrates after one crosses the border from Iraq into Syria, the valley gradually widens from 6 km to 14 km and again narrows to 6 km, forming a 30-km-long segment that resembles an intestinal link. On the gypsum cliffs above the upper end, the visitor can sit on the stump of a wall of the Hellenistic city of Dura Europos and, looking southeast down the valley, survey the capital district of the Bronze Age kingdom of Mari. The river meanders lazily, forming sandbanks here and there, with a lonely poplar or a thicket of tamarisks on its banks in places. Small huts protect the intake of pumps that deliver the river water to narrow ditches stretching to fields planted with grain, cotton, and assorted garden produce. Much of the land lies fallow, and in places one can see white patches of salt. Nine villages (excluding the town of Abu Kemal) and 11 light brown uncultivated flat hills, ruins of former settlements, line the floodplain of the river. The villagers often use the ancient ruins to bury their dead. In August 1933, residents were digging a grave in Tell Hariri, the largest of these ruins, when they found that the spot was already occupied by the stone statue of a headless man. The inspector of the region of Abu Kemal, the French lieutenant E. Cabane, was notified. The news of the find reached Paris in October. The curator of Oriental antiquities in the Louvre sent the archaeologist A. Parrot to investigate. Parrot started excavations right away. In the second season, more statues were found, among them one with words inscribed in cuneiform on the shoulder. The inscription revealed the name of the sculpted man, Isqi-Mari—then read LamgiMari—and his title, “king of Mari.” The find was taken as proof that Tell Hariri was the ruin of the ancient city of Mari, an assumption that was soon amply confirmed. The city was already well known among Assyriologists in the mid-1930s. The Sumerian king list included a dynasty of kings of Mari that would have ruled over the great plains of southern Mesopotamia during the so-called Early Dynastic period, which dates to around the middle of the 3d millennium b.c.; Sargon of Akkad, the founder of the first known Mesopotamian empire, claimed that the god Dagan granted him possession of the city, which would have been during the 23d century b.c.; and Hammu-Rabi of Babylon celebrated his victory over Mari in the 33d year of his rule, and the destruction of its walls in the 35th year, which correspond to 1760 and 1758 b.c., reckoned by the Middle Chronology. 3



Subsequent excavation found that two palaces used by Zimri-Lim, the last king of Mari, had been burned, presumably by Hammu-Rabi’s soldiers. The larger palace was excavated first and became known as the palace of Mari, or the palace of ZimriLim. It was a large building, covering more than two hectares and including some 300 rooms, corridors, and courtyards. The palace had been constructed during the Ur III period. At the time of Zimri-Lim, it was 300 years old, having undergone much reshaping and restoration. It overlaid a smaller but still monumental building, probably also a palace, from the last phase of the Early Dynastic Period (roughly 2500–2350 b.c.), the period when Mari temporarily ruled southern Mesopotamia according to the Sumerian king list. The city of Mari was founded in the earliest phase of this period. It was not a village of original settlers in the valley that grew over time to a size that would be defined as a city but, rather, the realization of a grand design, built on what was already an ancient floodplain, which had become a dry terrace and was only touched by exceptionally high floodwaters. 1 With their bronze tools, the founders dug a canal, which originated 2.5 km upstream at a bend in the Euphrates and lead to a central location on the dry terrace, and built a city next to it. The canal brought the drinking water and allowed boats to anchor in placid waters next to the city. The founders surrounded their city, a section of the canal, and plenty of open land with a circular wall. 2 The valuables were of course taken from the palace of Zimri-Lim in antiquity. Some wall paintings of the Ur III period were preserved, and so were some imperishable objects, such as stone statues, stone seals, earthenware, and thousands upon thousands of clay tablets covered with cuneiform writing. After six campaigns of excavation, Parrot estimated their number to be 20,000. They were cleaned, lightly baked, packed, and shipped to the Louvre for study. It turned out that a longish room adjacent to the main inner courtyard, identified as room 115, contained the remnants of the royal epistolary archive, and a number of other rooms had administrative records. In the women’s quarters, letters from the king to his wives were found. Early on, the letters were ascertained to be contemporaneous with the reign of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon; moreover, Hammu-Rabi’s words and words spoken to him and about him are quoted in some of them. The archaeological strata contemporaneous with this famous king in his capital of Babylon are mostly below the groundwater and beyond the reach of excavation. Some of his letters have been 1. The ancient Holocene floodplain, which is now a normally dry terrace, and the historic floodplain, which is cut into the ancient one and within whose confines the river meanders, is described by Geyer and Monchambert in “Prospection.” 2. The function of the wall is unclear. J. Margueron suggested that it may have protected the city against exceptionally high floods (“Recherches sur l’urbanisme de Mari I,” MARI 5 [1987], 492–96). M. Salvini believes it was a defensive wall, interpreting a massive mound of earth piled outside of the wall as remains of a ramp that besiegers put up to gain the height of the original wall (“Une hypothèse sur le “tell des remparts” de Mari,” MARI 5 [1987], 628). The open land inside the walls would have sheltered people and livestock from the countryside in times of danger.

Discovery of the Royal Archive of Mari


found in other cities. They mainly concern administrative matters and leave the historian eager to know about the king’s career—notably his achievement of the political unification of Mesopotamia, which is limited to terse year-names and stray sources. In light of this disappointing documentation, the contents of room 115 in the palace in Mari were a sensational find. Publication was entrusted to G. Dossin and C.-F. Jean. The great Assyriologist François Thureau-Dangin published the first letter. 3 It is a perfectly preserved letter written by the commander of troops that Zimri-Lim had sent to Babylon to support Hammu-Rabi against the Elamites. Among the tablets of room 115 a tag was found in the form of a small square tablet with holes for the string that attached it to a tablet coffer. The inscription on one side reads “box with tablets of the servants of Zimri-Lim”; on the other side is a date from the Babylonian calendar, namely, the 28th day of the 7th month of Hammu-Rabi’s 32d regnal year—that is, autumn 1761 b.c. Six additional tags were found in unverifiable locations, presumably also in room 115, and the fragment of an eighth in the north gate of the palace. Charpin edited and discussed these tags. 4 Dated in the Babylonian calendar to the very year in which Hammu-Rabi gained victory over Mari, these tags were written by Babylonian scribes who were charged with the task of looking through the royal correspondence that was preserved in Zimri-Lim’s palace. One tag identified the contents of a box as “tablets of the servants of Samsi-Adad.” Indeed, the letters in room 115 contained correspondence addressed to Samsi-Adad’s son Yasmah-Addu, who ruled Mari on behalf of his father before Zimri-Lim. It is remarkable that these letters were found together with letters addressed to Zimri-Lim. Were they of interest to Zimri-Lim, or were they left to collect dust in room 115 because that room had already been used by YasmahAddu as an archive, or were they placed there by the Babylonians? The label made by the Babylonian scribe is really quite inaccurate, because these letters included many written by Samsi-Adad, who was obviously not his own servant. 5 The designation “servants of Zimri-Lim” on the other tags is largely correct. It accords with the fact that most senders identified themselves with regard to the king as “your servant.” Still, in quite a number of cases the label does not fit the content. There were letters by Hammu-Rabi, who was no servant of Zimri-Lim, and identified himself by his name alone or by his name plus “your brother.” So did other kings who rated themselves equal in power to Zimri-Lim. There were also letters authored by Zimri-Lim himself, presumably copies of letters that were sent, or letters that were not sent. According to Charpin’s estimate, there were some 4,000 letters in room 115. The Babylonian scribes seem to have done their work in three days, because the tags are dated the 28th, 29th, or 30th of the month. So they must have worked with great speed, if not in haste. They apparently selected the letters by the 3. F. Thureau-Dangin, “Textes de Mâri,” RA 33 (1936), 171–74, translated here as additional text under the label “RA 33.” 4. D. Charpin, “La fin des archives dans le palais de Mari,” RA 89 (1995), 29–40. 5. This point was made by N. Ziegler. See Charpin, ibid., n. 36.



most powerful correspondents of Zimri-Lim—that is, The Vizier of Elam and the kings of Esnuna—and shipped them to Babylon. 6 Also missing are letters to ZimriLim during the last year of his reign, regardless of who sent them. 7 Durand believes that they, too, were taken to Babylon. Hammu-Rabi may have been interested in the Mari perspective on the developments leading to the conquest of the city. Charpin believes that Zimri-Lim did not live in the palace anymore. 8 What happened to the tablets in room 115 after the agents of Hammu-Rabi boxed, labeled, and left them behind? According to the conventional view, which is based on the 34th year-name of Hammu-Rabi, Babylonian soldiers returned two years later, ransacked the palace, including room 115, breaking and scattering the tablets, and finally burning the palace. Charpin noted that the destruction marks on many tablets were caused by picks that presumably belonged to Parrot’s workmen and that further damage was done when the tablets were baked in preparation for shipping.

B. Reading and Interpreting the Tablets The physical preservation of the clay tablets on which the letters were written represents the main obstacle for the modern translator. Few tablets are undamaged. Many are broken in half along the short axis. The upper half contains the beginning and end of the text, so that we know who wrote the text to whom but little of what was written. The lower half contains the central section of the contents and leaves us guessing about the identity of writer and addressee. Other tablets are broken along the long axis so that we have only the first or second halves of the lines. Still other tablets are broken into pieces. In addition, the tablets and fragments of tablets may be damaged around the edges, and their surfaces may be scraped, worn, chipped, or otherwise effaced. “Reading” damaged tablets is a time-consuming, painstaking, often frustrating process. This hard work has been done by the editors of the texts translated here. Durand, describing the travails of his epigraphic work on tablets inscribed with lists of personal names, says about the task of dealing with difficult passages that he spent much time between 1980 and 1986 reading and rereading these lists, making numerous notes, and frequently recopying ambiguous passages, often arriving at different relults that were as defensible as those reached earlier. 9 I have not contributed to this process, but rely, thankfully, on the editions of the letters in the form of published hand copies, photographs, and transliterations. It 6. With the exception of one letter by Ibal-Pi-El II of Esnuna. Charpin, ibid., n. 38, wonders whether it escaped the eye of the scribes because it was already broken in antiquity. 7. But see Reconstruction, §78. 8. See Charpin, n. 39. 9. J.-M. Durand, “Études sur les noms propres d’époque amorrite, I,” MARI 8 (1997), 597–98.

The Geographic Orbit of Mari


turned out that most photographs are of little help because they tend to be readable where the surface of a tablet is flat and well preserved. The reverse of the tablets is more or less convex so that only a set of photos (center, top, bottom, left side, right side) could illustrate them fully. Also, an Assyriologist who does not have direct access to the tablets often needs close-ups of key sections of damaged surfaces. 10 Ideally, a new translation, such as the one undertaken here, should be based on reinspection of the tablets. Practical reasons prevented me from doing this. On the positive side, specific alternative readings suggest themselves in the process of exploring alternative interpretations and thus render eventual reinspection potentially more fruitful. Another obstacle is the fact that the Akkadian language is dead. How well we know Akkadian 150 years after cuneiform script was deciphered is not easy to tell. On the one hand, links with other, living members of the tightly knit family of Semitic languages to which Akkadian belongs, and the large number and great variety of Akkadian texts provide so many clues that the language can be said to be essentially understood. There are now two dictionaries and an authoritative grammar, and translations of the same Akkadian text by different scholars will differ in details but rarely in essence. On the other hand, when it comes to nuances of meanings, much still remains to be discovered. It is especially difficult to detect expression of emotions, sarcasm, and irony. In translating the letters, I often asked myself how well we really know the language. It moved me toward a more literal translation, as explained in the introduction to the translations in part 2. A lesser obstacle is the script. Compared with older stages, the script is rather cursive. Most of the signs are still quite distinct, but eight of the signs form four similar pairs. 11 For example, the city of Saggaratum, a provincial capital that is often mentioned in the letters, is spelled Sa-ga-ra-tumki. When references appeared that were not compatible with the presumed location of that city, a second Saggaratum was postulated, until Charpin realized that a simple change of reading from ga to bi- in its alternative reading, pí-, yielded a city named Sapiratum, which is attested in Assyrian sources as Sapirete and is located in just the right place. 12

C. The Geographic Orbit of Mari 1. Territory of the Kingdom of Mari In section A above, the segment of the Euphrates Valley in which Mari was located was briefly described. It may be added that this segment is unique because three major intermittent streams from the west join the Euphrates there. They drain a large area of the east-central Syrian Desert. When there has been significant 10. Excellent photos of details have recently been published by L. Marti in NABU 2001 76–81. 11. The pairs are ma and ba, bi and ga, nu and ús, and ás and ku. 12. Charpin, “Sapiratum.”



runoff from the highlands, the streams have much destructive potential, carrying enough water to cut through roads, dikes, and canals that run parallel with the Euphrates. One such episode may be preserved in a Mari letter that was edited by Lafont under the title “Nuit dramatique à Mari.” 13 Wadi Suªab, the largest of these streams, was then called Haqat. B. Geyer and J.-Y. Monchambert included a stretch of some 15 km from its mouth in their survey of the Euphrates Valley, discovering Bronze Age remains from a sizable ruin near wells that would have allowed people to draw water throughout the year. The role of this and the other intermittent streams in the area in antiquity is a subject for further study. 14 In the kingdom of Zimri-Lim, the section of the Euphrates Valley where Mari was located constituted the capital district. Mari was capital of the kingdom and principal residence of the king. It was also capital of one of four administrative units called “districts.” As a district, it was administered by a governor. The upstream possessions of the kingdom constituted additional districts. First came that of Terqa, which extended close to the mouth of the Habur. The city of Terqa was built around an important sanctuary of the god Dagan, who was the highest-ranking god in the area of the Middle Euphrates. Still farther upstream was the district of Saggaratum, extending along the Euphrates Valley up to the area of the modern city of Deir ezZor and an equal distance up the Habur. It included a large expanse of the Holocene terrace on the west bank, where Yahdun-Lim, a predecessor of Zimri-Lim, founded a city that he called Fortress-of-Yahdun-Lim (Dur-Yahdun-Lim). Here is what he said about it: “And in wasteland, a terrain of thirst, where since the beginning of time no king, whatever his name, had built a city, I built a city on an insight, dug its moat, called it Dur-Yahdun-Lim by name. And I opened a river for it and called it Isim-Yahdun-Lim River.” 15 The capital of the province, Saggaratum, is sought in the area of the confluence of the Habur and the Euphrates. The districts of Mari, Terqa, and Saggaratum constituted the heartland of the kingdom of Zimri-Lim. As a unit, they were called the “bank of the Euphrates.” The fourth district was the Habur Valley up to the southern margin of the Northern Plains. The capital was Qa††unan. Loads hauled up the river in boats and headed farther north were put on carts there, if we may generalize a passage from a letter by Samsi-Adad to his son Yasmah-Addu: “What you send to Subat-Enlil, they must 13. FM 1 (1992), 93–101. In another letter (A.2 = 26 170d = LAPO 17 812) it is reported that a well in the way of one of the streams was saved: “To my lord speak! Your servant SumhuRabi (says) ‘the day before, it rained widely on the streams, and the second day there was no rain. Hours into the day the creek (i.e., flow) arrived. The whole night to sunrise I helped, and the people of Dir and the servants of the palace strengthened the spring of the house of Bah. The stream did not damage anything. ªOne halfº of the field tracts has been completely watered. May my lord be happy!’ ” 14. See 26 41 for a well that may have been located in the area of one of the three streams, and comment 1 to 26 481 for people called “men,” or “Hana of the streams.” 15. Thureau-Dangin, “Iahdun-Lim, roi de Hana,” RA 33, 51 II 9–23. Geyer and Monchambert, “Prospection,” 325, suggest identification with Tell Mohasan.

The Geographic Orbit of Mari


bring upstream by boat to Saggaratum, from Saggaratum to Qa††unan. The Qa††unanites must take (it) in carts from Qa††unan and bring (it) to Subat-Enlil” (1 7:22– 31). It was also the place where travelers from the south on their way to the cities of the Hilly Arc left the Habur Valley. The history of the district during the reign of Zimri-Lim is well documented in the letters published in volume 27 of ARM, which are translated in part 2. The four districts of the kingdom of Mari may be understood as being the core area of the kingdom. The periphery consisted of an outpost on the Balih, the stretch of Euphrates Valley between the southern tip of the district of Mari and the border of the kingdom of Babylon, and pastureland in the north and east. The outpost on the Balih was the city of Dir. Its location is sought halfway up this river in a place that allowed grain cultivation. It was under the control of a mayor. Suhum, at the other extremity of the kingdom, was also governed by a mayor. His residence was Sapiratum, located on an island now called Bejan. The stretch of river valley that leads down to Sapiratum was called the Upper Suhum. Its major city was Hanat. The major cities downstream in Lower Suhum were Yabliya and Harbe. Id, modern Hit, was on the border between the kingdoms of Mari and Babylon. Bitumen wells in its vicinity provided the widely used sealant for boats and waterproof containers and were the scene of the so-called “river ordeals.” Possession of Id was contested between Mari and Babylon. The first major city after crossing into the territory of Babylon was Rapiqum. The Euphrates Valley in Suhum is mostly a narrow strip between cliffs. Its cities often include, or are confined to, islands and are hidden in date palm orchards. The climate in Mari is too cold for date cultivation; at the same time, it is too hot for wine cultivation. These features deprived Mari of the local production of two cherished comestibles. The cities of Hanat, Yabliya, and Id shared with Assur on the Tigris the unique fact that they bore the name of their principal god. These cities may have originated as examples of the very ancient “temple city” type. The arid steppe on both sides of the river was used as pastureland for sheep and goats. In the east, the herds were pastured as far as the west bank of the Tigris. The pasturalists and their flocks were under the control of a pasture-chief. One pasturechief supervised the flocks of Mari that pastured in the north, especially in the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains; the other was stationed in Suhum. 2. Hilly Arc With the label “Hilly Arc,” I mean to designate the sequence of long, narrow ridges that trace the southern margin of the eastern Anatolian highlands and the southwestern margins of the Persian highlands in the form of an arc, separated from the Anatolian highlands by the Northern Plains and from the Persian highlands by rolling hill country, through which the Tigris winds its way. Jebel Abd el-Aziz is the westernmost section of the Hilly Arc. Surprisingly, it does not seem to be documented in the Old Babylonian texts from Mari. Moving east, the next section is Jebel Sinjar—Saggar in antiquity—the largest and highest part of the arc, reaching an altitude of almost 1500 m. Arching to the southeast are Jebel Ishkaft—Zara in



antiquity—Jebel Sasan, Jebel Ibrahim, Jebel Maqlub, and, beyond the Tigris, Jebel Hamrin. The southern slopes of the northwestern section of this arc capture moisture traveling up the trough of the Tigris and Euphrates Valley, creating a dip to the south of the dry farming zone. At the time of Zimri-Lim, important kingdoms existed in this area: foremost Kurda, which probably underlies modern Balad Sinjar, at the southern foot of the Sinjar Range; Andarig, which is probably the ruin called Tell Khoshi, a dozen kilometers south of Kurda; Karana, which may be buried under the modern town of Tell Afar; and Qa††ara, which has been positively identified with Tell Rimah. On the west bank of the Tigris, in the area where the hills of the Hilly Arc come close to the Tigris, lay the city of Ekallatum. 16 It was an important city and the capital of a kingdom at the time of Zimri-Lim, but because of its location so far south of the dry farming belt, with only a narrow floodplain for cultivation nearby, it struggled to feed the population of a capital city. 3. Northern Plains North of the western section of the Hilly Arc, the Northern Plains extended from the Tigris in the east to the upper Habur in the west, bordered in the north by the foothills of the Anatolian highlands. The larger western part, often called the “Habur triangle,” is abundantly watered by the Habur and its numerous tributaries; 17 the eastern part lacks major runoff from the mountains to the north. 18 Rainfall is sufficient for dry farming throughout the Northern Plains. The grain of the area was much coveted in the drier south. The cities of the Hilly Arc, where rainfall was fickle and harvests failed in some years, were more or less dependent on grain from the Northern Plains. The plains also provided pasture for livestock when the spring vegetation in the southern steppes withered. In the Old Babylonian period, the western part of the plains was called the land of Idamaraß, 19 the central part the land of Apum or “reedland,” and the eastern part the land of Subartum. 20 Idamaraß 16. See my note, NABU 1996 101; and Charpin and Durand, “Assur,” 368–70. 17. Several archaeological surveys were done in parts and the whole of the area. The most recent studies are by B. Lyonnet. A bibliography of his work and that of his predecessors is found in “Questions sur l’origine des porteurs de pots en Haute-Mésopotamie,” FM 3 (1997), 141–44. 18. This area was surveyed by T. J. Wilkinson and D. J. Tucker, who published the results in Settlement Development in the North Jazira, Iraq: A Study of the Archaeological Landscape (Iraq Archaeological Reports 3; Baghdad: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 1995). 19. M. Wäfler, in his in-depth study of the documentation bearing on the location of Idamaraß (Tall al-Óamidiya 3 [Freiburg, 2001]) comes to the conclusion that it was restricted to the land along the three central tributaries of the Habur (Hanzir, Jaghjagh, and Jara). 20. See Charpin, “L’akkadien,” 39, and “Engrenage,” 101. “Subartum” was also used as a general term for the north as shown by references in letters by a governor of Qa††unan: inhabitants of this district on the middle course of the Habur go to Subartum in search of work when the harvest in the district fails (27 26 and 80). On another occasion, after having been offered grain from the palace, they wait for better deals on grain from Subartu (27 76). In these two instances, it seems unlikely that Subartu was beyond Idamaraß and/or the Hilly Arc. The use of

The Geographic Orbit of Mari


and Subartum were regions divided into several kingdoms. The land of Apum constituted a single kingdom. The Northern Plains were politically fragmented during the Old Babylonian period. Their agricultural wealth and their relatively large population were a magnet for the politically more-powerful neighbors in the Hilly Arc and farther south. Mari, Kurda, Andarig, Ekallatum, and even Esnuna, Elam, and Babylon tried to control the area. Samsi-Adad chose Subat-Enlil for his main residence in the later years of his reign, delegating the rule of Ekallatum and Mari to his sons Isme-Dagan and Yasmah-Addu. Subat-Enlil has been found in the ruins of Tell Leilan, which is being excavated. 21 4. Southern Mesopotamia The southern Mesopotamian plains were divided at the time of Zimri-Lim into the territories of the kingdom of Esnuna along the lower Diyala River, of Larsa along the Tigris, and of Babylon along the Euphrates. The northern part of southern Mesopotamia is geographically characterized by the deltas of these three rivers. The systems of the Euphrates and Tigris, and probably also of the Diyala above its confluence with the Tigris, were connected, creating a particularly well-watered, wide plain, supporting a large population. Larsa lay off-center in the deep south, a survivor from an older age, when that region was the politically dominant part of southern Mesopotamia and when the delta region was peripheral. But as a sign of the times, a northern city in the kingdom of Larsa, Maskan-Sapir, had gained in importance. In the delta area, the great powers of the south during the Old Babylonian period—Babylon, Esnuna, Larsa, and Elam—clashed, and from there all but Larsa sent their troops at one time or another up the rivers and into the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains. 5. Mountain Lands in the East and the North The orbit of Mari included the mountain lands that border Mesopotamia to the east and north, and the area west of the Euphrates all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. In the far southeast was the kingdom of Elam. Its territory consisted of the plains at the foot of the Zagros Mountains, an area that today forms the province of Khuzistan in Iran; and the highlands to the southeast, the modern province of Isfahan, where the Persian royal city of Persepolis stood. Earlier, including the time of Zimri-Lim, the capital of this area was Ansan, which has been positively identified with the ruins of Tepe Maliyan. Ansan was the capital of the Elamite kingdom. The most important city of lowland Elam was Susa, pronounced Susim at Mari. Lowland

Subartu as a general designation for the north was recognized by P. Michalowski (“Sumer Dreams of Subartu: Politics and the Geographical Imagination,” in Languages and Cultures in Contact [ed. K. van Lerberghe and G. Voet; Leuven, 1999], 305–15). 21. Under the direction of H. Weiss of Yale University.



Elam was adjacent to the lowest stretch of the Tigris Valley, but it possibly was, as it is now, separated from the valley by a belt of marshes, so that the lines of communication between Elam and Mesopotamia bypassed the kingdom of Larsa and ran through Esnuna. 22 Akkadian was the written language of lowland Elam in the Old Babylonian period. Akkadian may also have been spoken there—not unlike today, when many inhabitants of Khuzistan speak Arabic rather than Persian. Farther north, the cities and kingdoms in the foothills of the eastern mountain chains were known to Mari, but events there rarely influenced the interests of Mari directly. The kingdoms in the mountains that lie north of the Northern Plains loomed larger, especially those of the land of Zalmaqum, which stretched from Nihriya 23 on the upper Tigris in the east to Harran at the headwaters of the Balih in the west. 24 The first major city upstream from Mariote territory on the Euphrates was Imar, a merchant city located on the eastern terminus of the all-important shortest connection between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean. 25 Farther upstream, on the modern border between Syria and Turkey, was the city and kingdom of Kar-Kamis (Carchemish). It functioned as a market for goods coming down from Anatolia, especially timber. The cities and kingdoms of Ursum, Hassum, and Zalwar lay farther upstream. Hassum was the source of metal vessels, weapons, and textiles. 26 6. The West Ansan constituted the southeastern limit of the orbit of Mari at the time of Zimri-Lim. To the northwest it was the Mediterranean. Crete, then called “Kaptara,” and Cyprus, then “Alasiya,” were known, the latter as a source for copper. 27 Gubla (Byblos) is the southernmost city on the Mediterranean coast mentioned in 22. But see §46. 23. I. Singer, “The Battle of Nihriya and the End of the Hittite Empire,” ZA 75 (1985), 106. 24. The true extent of the land of Zalmaqum was recognized by Charpin, NABU 2000 58. 25. MARI 6 (1990) includes several articles on this city. For the Old Babylonian period, see Durand, “Imar.” 26. See M. Guichard, NABU 1993 54. 27. Cretans are mentioned in A.1270 as recipients of the tin that was distributed on the occasion of Zimri-Lim’s stay in Ugarit. See Dossin, “La route d’étain en Mésopotamie au temps de Zimri-Lim,” RA 64 (1970), 97–103. Dossin copied and read line 30 of the text as [x ma.na an.na a-na] Ka-ra-i-[i]m and thought that the recipients of tin in this line were Karians, inhabitants of the southwest corner of the Anatolian peninsula. The text was reedited as 23 556 by P. Villard, who read ugula [dam.gà]r k[a]p-ta!-ra-i at the suggestion of Durand. This interpretation would mean that the “interpreter (lú.ta-ar-ga-ma-an-nim)” of the previous line was also “overseer of Cretan merchants,” which is not inconceivable but is unlikely because double-identification of the person would be contrary to usage. Cretan vessels and weapons reached Mari (for example, 25 499 and 601), and a small Cretan boat was built in Mari (M. Guichard, NABU 1993 53). Dossin quoted unpublished texts listing Cypriote copper and bronze (“Les archives économiques du Palais de Mari,” Syria 20 [1939], 111). For a published text, see, for example, 25 483.

Languages and Peoples


Mari documents. 28 Egypt does not appear to be mentioned, which is surprising. Inland, the southernmost city mentioned is Haßura (Hazor) in Galilee of northern Israel. 29 Farther north, Qa†anum (Qatna) in the upper Orontes Valley near the modern city of Homs was capital of a kingdom that played an active role in Mesopotamian affairs. Still farther north was the kingdom of Halab (Aleppo). It was one of the most powerful kingdoms in the area at the time. Its territory included a stretch of the Euphrates between Kar-Kamis and Imar in the east and extended westward to the Mediterranean, where it controlled the city and port of Ugarit. For Mari, the northwest was of great economic and, to some extent, nostalgic importance. Copper, olive oil, grain, and wine came from there, and Zimri-Lim and Yasmah-Addu found their principal wives there. Two kings of Mari, Yahdun-Lim and Zimri-Lim, traveled to the shore of the Mediterranean.

D. Languages and Peoples In the geographical orbit of Mari, several languages were spoken, and Akkadian was used as the written language. The languages that we can expect on the basis of personal and geographical names are Akkadian, Amorite, Hurrian, Elamite, and possibly other languages that are represented in unintelligible names. A bilingual lexical text, dubbed by its editor “Sag B,” dated to the Middle Babylonian period and tentatively provenienced in Imar, contains a section of expressions beginning with the Sumerian word “tongue,” and within it is a passage that lists languages. They are: Akkadian, Amorite, Sutean, Subarean, Elamite, and Gutean. 30 Sumerian is not included in the passage. Three terms for the Sumerian language are mentioned later on in the text, flanked by terms that appear to qualify speech, such as “ungood tongue” and “choice tongue.” 31 Sumerian was a dead language at the time the text was written, and it may have been excluded from the passage because of this. The languages that were included would then be the spoken languages. “Subarean” corresponds to our “Hurrian.” The Gutean language is to be expected because the Gutean people are documented in the foothills and mountains between Elamite territory in the southeast and Hurrian in the northwest, but their language is unknown except for the foreign names of the Gutean rulers in the Sumerian king list. The only personal name from Mari that may be Gutean is borne by the Gutean king Zazum. However, the name may have been pronounced Sasum, in which case it could have been Akkadian, meaning “Moth.” Sutean presents a problem. Suteans are well attested in Mari. Their names are mostly Amorite, but some appear to be Semitic without being Akkadian or Amorite. 28. Dossin, “Les archives économiques du Palais de Mari,” Syria 20 (1939), 111. 29. See M. Bonechi, “Mari et Haßor au XVIIIe siècle av.J.C.,” FM 1 (1992), 9–22; M. C. Astour expressed doubts about the identification; M. Bonechi and A. Catagnoti affirm it in FM 2 33b. 30. M. Civil, Materialien zum sumerischen Lexikon, Supplementary Series 1 (Rome, 1986), 32:240–45. 31. Ibid., 259–61.



Setting this problem aside for the moment, we can match the languages with peoples and describe the ethnic map of the orbit of Mari as Akkadians, Amorites, Hurrians, Guteans, and Elamites. They form two groups: Elamites, Guteans, and Hurrians lived in the mountains and foothills bordering Mesopotamia to the north and east. They spoke isolated languages that are related neither to each other nor to any known language. Akkadians, Amorites, and Suteans lived in the Mesopotamian plains and spoke languages belonging to the Semitic family. Some areas had mixed populations. Amorites and Akkadians lived together in southern Mesopotamia, Hurrians and Amorites in the Northern Plains. In lowland Elam, Akkadian was the written language, and the area may have been bilingual, which would be a precedent to the presence of Arab and Persian speakers in Huzistan. The written sources from Mari, a city that is located in the center of Mesopotamia, provide a wealth of information on the peoples of Mesopotamia. The information is growing with almost every new text edition. My preliminary summary is as follows: 1. Amorites Later Babylonian tradition refers to the Old Babylonian period as the “Amorite time of rule.” 32 Our sources confirm this characterization. According to the number and distribution of Amorite personal names and the designation of populations of cities and areas with Amorite tribal names, the Amorites were the dominant ethnicity in Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period. Their language is preserved in thousands 33 of names and in a fair number of loanwords in Akkadian. 34 Strangely, Amorite does not seem to have been written in Mesopotamia at all. Cuneiform script was used to write Sumerian, Akkadian, Elamite, Hurrian, and Hittite. Why not Amorite? The inventory of consonants of the language was considerably larger than in Akkadian, but this did not prevent the spelling of Amorite names with the Akkadian syllabary. The closeness of the two Semitic sister-languages and the strength of the culture of southern Mesopotamia may have been factors in suppressing the written expression of Amorite. 35

32. In a passage on the computation of time, the text mul.apin attributes placement of the intercalary month after the last month to the palû Amurrû, in contrast to the different earlier and later placements in the time of Sulgi and the Kassites. See H. Hunger and D. Pingree, MUL. APIN: An Astronomical Compendium in Cuneiform (Archiv für Orientforschung, Beiheft 24; Vienna, 1989), 96 II 19. 33. According to Streck’s count, I. J. Gelb’s Computer-Aided Analysis of Amorite lists 5,922 names. 34. Streck, Amurriter I, 83–123. 35. J. Cooper discusses the concept in “Sumerian and Semitic Writing in Ancient SyroMesopotamia,” in Languages and Cultures in Contact (ed. K. van Lerberghe and G. Voet; Leuven, 1999), 61–77. He concludes: “In Syro-Mesopotamia the cultural hegemony of Babylonia signified . . . that writing a Semitic language meant writing a Babylonian-based language.”

Languages and Peoples


Amorite Tribal Groups The Amorites were divided into tribal groups. Conventionally, two tiers are distinguished and the higher tier is labeled “tribe” and the lower “clan.” This nomenclature agrees with the indigenous terminology. “Clan” is used as a translation for Akkadianized Amorite gayyum, and “tribe” translates limum. The latter term can appear as the second element in Amorite personal names, for example in ZimriLim, which means “The-Tribe-is-my-Protection.” The two-tiered distinction does not always suffice, so sub-tribes and sub-clans must be introduced. The four clearly recognizable Amorite tribes in the orbit of Mari were the Simªal, Yamina, Numha, and Yamutbal. Simªal and Yamina The two tribes form a pair because they constituted the major part of the population of the kingdom of Mari and also insofar as Simªal means “left” and Yamina means “right.” The ancient Mesopotamians oriented themselves by facing east, so “left” designated the north and “right” the south. Settlements of the two tribes were strung along the Euphrates on territory of Mari “like termites of a necklace of which one is white and one is brown.” 36 Simªal settlements continued downstream through Suhum to the delta of the Euphrates, while Yamina settlements stretched upstream to the border area of Yamhad. 37 The central Northern Plains constituted the northern border of Simªal pasture; the Yamina pastured farther west. 38 Zimri-Lim was a Simªal and his kingdom in essence a Simªal government that subjugated the Yamina living within the borders of the kingdom. There were about one dozen Simªal clans. 39 Groups constituting the clan of Nihad are called subclans by Anbar. 40 In 24 235, two members of the Amurru clan are classified as Yabasu, so Amurru appears to be a sub-clan of Yabasu. In the time of Zimri-Lim, the Simªal clans were headed by a sugagum, who represented the clan to the government. The word is often translated “sheikh,” which would imply that he inherited his position. But he was a royal appointee, and accordingly, I translate the word as “mayor.” The known clans of the Yamina were the Yahrur, Yarihu, Awnan, Rabbu, Uprapu, and Mutebal. They were found far and wide throughout Mesopotamia. 36. A.3080, edited by Durand, in “Fourmis blanches et fourmis noires,” Mélanges Perrot (1990) 102–6 and LAPO 17 733; for the image, see my note, NABU 1997 102. 37. The inhabitants of Id on the border between Babylon and Suhum included members of the Simªalite clan Nahanum (Charpin, NABU 1991 112). The Simªalite clan Ibal-Ahu lived in Wurqana and Qaßa, which is also in Suhum. The Yamina clan of Rabbum occasionally moved into the territory of the Yamhad. 38. For details about the pasture areas, see pp. 30–33 below. 39. Talon, “Les clans hanéens,” Mélanges Birot (1985), 277–84: lists Werªu, Yakallit, Amurru, Yabasu, Nahan, Nihad, Ibal-Ahum, Yamahammu, Abi-Nakar, Isaru, and Sibiyu. Letter 27 107 suggests that Patakhum was an additional clan. 40. Anbar, Tribus, 81.



The Yahrur, or Yahurru, resided in Mislan and other cities in the district of Mari; in Serda on the Balih (FM 7 6); in the Tigris area, where they were subjected to a census by Ekallatum at one time (2 18) and attacked Ekallatum together with East Tigridian allies at another (26 510); and in southern Mesopotamia, where they settled in Sippir of Samas, as documented by the name “Sippir Yahrurum.” They were a military factor in the relation between the kingdoms of Babylon and Uruk one generation before Hammu-Rabi. 41 In southern Mesopotamia, they were linked with the Awnan, or Amnan, who settled in Great Sippir, as documented by the name “Sippir Amnanum.” The Awnan joined the Yahrur in military moves between Uruk and Babylon according to the Anam letter. Sin-Kasid, founder of the Old Babylonian dynasty of Uruk, was an Awnanite leader. In the north, Tuttul was the capital of the Awnanite heartland at the time of Yahdun-Lim. 42 One recorded incident from the time of Zimri-Lim places Awnan on the upstream border of the district of Saggaratum, which was contiguous with the country around Tuttul: The governor of Saggaratum reported on sheep rustling. The culprits appeared to be Awnan who claimed to have come for mushroom hunting (FM 2 34). Awnan also lived in Sahru and “Zarri Awnan,” two settlements in the district of Saggaratum (23 428 and 429). There was also a “Zarri Rabbum” and a “Zarri Yarih.” Zarri Rabbum also belonged to the district of Saggaratum (23 428 and 429). Zarri Awnan and Zarri Rabbum were either separate settlements with the same name (like Sippir Yahrurum and Sippir Amnanum) or one settlement with different quarters, each inhabited by a clan. The heartland of the Rabbum was upstream from the Awnan. The residence of their king at the time of Yahdun-Lim was Abattum. 43 At the time of Samsi-Adad, they lived on either side of the border separating the kingdoms of Halab and Mari. There is hardly any information on them from the time of Zimri-Lim, which indicates that apart from the inhabitants of “Zarri Rabbum” they lived outside of the kingdom. There is also little information on the Yarih. One intriguing fact is the existence of a city “Yarih” in the far west near the city of Rahißum, where “vagrants and Canaanites are staying.” 44 The capital of the Uprapu at the time of Yahdun-Lim was Samanum in the district of Terqa. Uprapu also lived in Raqqum, Ilum-Muluk, and Rasayu in the district of Terqa (23 428 and 429). 41. According to the Anam letter published by A. Falkenstein in Baghdader Mitteilungen 2 (1963), 56–71. 42. Yahdun-Lim defeated Bahlu-Kulim, king of Tuttul and the land of Awnan (Syria 32, 4 III 6–7). 43. Syria 32, 4 III 8–9. 44. The source is A.3552, edited by Dossin in “Une mention de Cananéens dans un lettre de Mari,” Syria 50 (1973), 278 and again by Durand in LAPO 17 456. Durand identifies Rahißum with Ruhizzi in the upper Orontes valley. Dossin saw in the city “une sédentarisation de membres de la tribu des Iarihéens.” “Yarih” is the Amorite word for the moon(god).

Languages and Peoples


The Mutebal of northern Mesopotamia are mentioned in the early years of Zimri-Lim’s reign. Two facts are known about them: Mari attempted to enlist their pasturalists as soldiers in a campaign that would enable them to share the booty from Samsi-Adad’s residence, Subat-Enlil (FM 2 116); and their leader, Nahimum, complained about the infringement of Mari on the freedom of movement of his people down a river to their fields and houses. 45 The river was the Euphrates or the Balih. 46 The Mutebal of southern Mesopotamia (the name was written Mutiabal, according to local orthography) were settled at the time in and around the city of Kasalluk, which was located south of Babylon. Their sad fate at the hands of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon is told in the letters translated here and retold below. 47 The presence of large numbers of Yamina in southern Mesopotamia and the absence of Simªal there could have been the reason for the designation “northerners” and “southerners,” unless the designations hark back to a different location and geographical configuration of the two tribes. 48 The geographical distribution of Yamina and Simªal exhibits a striking dissimilarity. The Yamina clans of Yahrur, Awnan, and Mutebal were found in widely dispersed islands in northern and southern Mesopotamia. The three clans had settlements on the Euphrates; the Yahrur also on the Tigris. In southern Mesopotamia, the Awnan were found down to the southern margin of settlement in the ancient land of Sumer. The Simªal were settled more compactly in the lower Habur area and down the Euphrates to the edge of the delta region, separating the northwestern and southern settlements of the Yamina. The configuration suggests that the Simªal moved into, or became strong within, the Yamina area of settlement, blocking the east–west movements of the Yahrur and the movements of all Yamina clans along the Euphrates. Numha and Yamutbal The Numha inhabited the mountains, hills, and piedmont in the Hilly Arc. At the time of Zimri-Lim, the Numha of Jebel Sinjar constituted the population of the kingdom of Kurda; the Numha in the area of Jebel Ishkaft, the uppermost drainage of Wadi Tharthar, and probably northern Jebel Ibrahim constituted the population 45. 26 39 and A.1281, as quoted by Durand in his comment to 26 39. 46. In the same comment, Durand quotes a letter by the mayor of Dir on the Balih in which Nahimum is mentioned. 47. See §11. Lafont, in FM 2 117, comment b, noting a parallel between the Simªal alliance with Numha in that text and with Mutebal in 26 39, suggested the identification “MutiAbal = Yamutbal = Kurdâ.” But the similarity between the passages is limited to the fact of a treaty with Simªal. The partners are different. Also Anbar, “Origine tribale,” 9, equates Mutebal and Yamutbal. While the names Muti-abal/Mutebal and Yamut-bal are formed with the same words, they must refer to two different groups, because the people designated by these terms are linked with different geographical regions. 48. Charpin and Durand suggested in 1986 (“Fils,” 155) that north refers to the Habur Triangle, that is the central and western part of the Northern Plains, and south to the Middle Euphrates.



of the kingdom of Karana. The population of Ekallatum seems to have been Numha also. 49 The Yamutbal lived in the narrow belt of marginal dry farming between the ridges of the Hilly Arc and the steppes to its south. Their most important city in the time of Zimri-Lim, Andarig, lay a mere 12 miles south of the city of Kurda, if indeed it is found in the ruins of Tell Khoshi. In the west, the territory of the Yamutbal bordered the northern Mariote province of Qa††unan. 50 In the east, their narrow belt was blocked by the Numha population of Qa††ara. Perhaps it continued southeasterly, just skirting Qa††ara, but we do not yet know for certain. The city of “Razama of Yamutbal” was probably the second station from Assur on the route to Kanis in Anatolia, Qa††ara being the fourth station. The geographical configuration suggests an “island” territory of Yamutbal bordered by Numha in the north (Qa††ara) and east (Ekallatum) and Akkadian Assyrians (Assur) in the south. This island may have included Sadduwatum, the first station from Assur on the route to Kanis, because it was ceded by Atamrum, king of the Yamutbal, to the king of Ekallatum. The action suggests that the inhabitants of Sadduwatum were Yamutbal, but the city was so close to Ekallatum that it naturally fell under the power of Ekallatum. The Yamutbal were also settled in southern Babylonia along the Tigris from Maskan-Sapir to Larsa. The kingdom of Larsa was founded by an Amorite, presumably a Yamutbal, named Nablanum (often spelled Naplanum). Its territory was called “land of Yamutbal.” 51 The settlement area of the Yamutbal in northern Mesopotamia was distinguished as “Upper Yamutbal” in 26 404. The distribution of settlement areas of the Numha and Yamutbal is somewhat similar to that of the Simªal and Yamina. The Yamutbal had territories in northern and southern Mesopotamia, while the territory of the Numha was more compact and limited to northern Mesopotamia. “Amorite” and “Amorites” in Ancient Usage We understand the Amorites as an ethnic entity that was composed of different tribal groups. Did the ancients have a similar view? Did they have a term like our “Amorites”? In Old Babylonian Akkadian, the adjective descriptive of Amorite language was Amurrûm. In Mari, the noun Amurrum was the name of a god and designated a clan of the Simªal tribe as well as an area and its inhabitants in the far west. In two references, the noun is supposed to designate the Amorites ethnically, as we understand it. The first reference is found in the text of Zimri-Lim’s sworn commitment 49. See my note, NABU 96 101. 50. This is demonstrated by Yassi-Dagan’s route from Subat-Enlil to Andarig. Yassi-Dagan circled Numha territory by going south, entering the province of Qa††unan, then veering east and reaching Andarig by a shortcut through the steppe (27 65). 51. Charpin argues in 26/2, 148, that the land of Yamutbal was restricted to the area around the city of Maskan-Sapir, that is the northern part of the kingdom of Larsa. Because the founder of the dynasty of Larsa was an Amorite, I would hold open the possibility that “land of Larsa” and “land of Yamutbal” were the same.

Languages and Peoples


to King Ibal-Pi-El II of Esnuna (A.361). As part of his commitment, Zimri-Lim promised not to dispatch troops against Esnuna. He listed all the troops that he might conceivably dispatch: “troops of Mari, troops of the Hana (pasturalists), troops of Suhum, troops of ªa kingº [or grande], troops of ªAmurrumº or Akkad, (of) another or a stranger, (of) ªan allyº [of his (Ibal-Pi-El’s) fiend] or his friend, troops of any king or ªpotentateº [who] may be found [in the country].” Charpin, who edited the text, thought that the expression “troops of Amurrum and Akkad” designated Mariote troops of Akkadian and Amorite ethnicity. 52 Durand followed him, saying that the terms mirror the two major elements of the population of Mari: the Akkadians representing the indigenous Mariotes and Amurru the newly arrived Amorites. 53 The structure of the passage suggests a different interpretation to me: The troops of Mari are, as expected, in first place. Next come the troops of the Hana and of Suhum. The three groups were under the command of Zimri-Lim, which implies that the “troops of Mari” are not all troops of Mari but only those of the core of the kingdom. The following troop contingents should be those of potential allies. They are not mentioned by kingdom but by region, “Akkad” referring to southern Mesopotamia and “Amurrum” to the west. Presumably, Zimri-Lim intended to allay Ibal-Pi-El’s concern about Mari’s collaboration with Babylon in the south (Akkad) and Yamhad and Qa†anum in the west (Amurrum), without spelling this out. 54 The second reference is Zimri-Lim’s designation as “king of Akkad and Amurrum” in the unpublished text A.489, which is quoted by Durand (in “Unité,” 113), and translated “roi d’Akkadiens comme d’Amorrites.” It is inconceivable that Zimri-Lim would be called king of one of the clans of his tribe or king of the west, so a third meaning must apply. If my view is correct that Zimri-Lim’s kingdom did not include a component of ethnic Akkadians, “king of Akkad” cannot mean “king of Akkadians.” I argue below, under “Akkadians in the Rest of Northern Mesopotamia,” that it means in effect “king in Akkadian tradition.” Consequently, I understand “king of Amurrum” to be the characterization of a king in the Amorite mold. The result of these considerations is that neither Amurrû nor Amurrum designates the ethnic reality that we call “Amorites.” It is possible, however, that one use of the term “Hana” comes closer to our ethnic term “Amorites” (see p. 35 below). 2. Akkadians and Amorites in Southern Mesopotamia In southern Mesopotamia, Akkadian and Amorite personal names are legion, and there can be little doubt that Akkadians and Amorites were distinct ethnically, 52. Charpin, “Traité,” 146–47. 53. LAPO 16 292d. I do not quite understand how this view agrees with Durand’s hypothesis of a depopulated area of Mari before the arrival of the Lim Dynasty, for which see below, under “Akkadians in the Rest of Northern Mesopotamia.” 54. My interpretation is halfway anticipated by Streck, Amurriter I, 39. He defines the meaning of the terms “Akkad and Amurrum” as “unambiguously geographical/ethnical,” which appears to be a contradiction in terms.



at least in the earlier phases of the Old Babylonian period, and that the two ethnicities merged as time went by. Akkadian was the written language. Amorite was never written there. To the modern observer, it looks as though the Amorites of southern Mesopotamia lost their ethnic identity and language and assimilated to the indigenous culture. Detailed information about the two peoples is scarce; the famous letter by King Anam (or Digiram) of Uruk to Hammu-Rabi’s father, SinMuballit, speaks of armies of Amorite tribal groups moving throughout the land. 55 At the time of Hammu-Rabi, the city of Kasalluk and its environs was inhabited by the Amorite tribe of Mutiabal; that of the kingdom of Larsa, by the Amorite tribe of Yamutbal. The dynasties of most southern Mesopotamian kingdoms traced their lineages to Amorite founders. It is actually not easy to find unmistakable indications of an ethnic Akkadian population. The star witness is a passage from an edict by the late Old Babylonian king, Ammi-Íaduqa of Babylon (17th century b.c.), in which the inhabitants of his kingdom are called “Akkadians and Amorites.” But it is not at all clear what this means. At first, when it was believed that the kingdom of Ammi-Íaduqa had shrunk from the time of Hammu-Rabi to encompass merely southern Mesopotamia or even only part of it, there was no obstacle to understanding the expression as a designation of the two peoples. But then Kraus demonstrated that the territory of the kingdom of Babylon at the time of Ammi-Íaduqa had not substantially changed after the conquests of Hammu-Rabi. 56 As a result, he was free to conclude that the “Amorites” were the inhabitants of northern Mesopotamia and the “Akkadians” those of southern Mesopotamia. 57 But if ethnic Amorites were living in southern Mesopotamia at the time, the “Akkadians” of southern Mesopotamia included Amorites, and the term reveals itself as neutral in respect to ethnicity. The designation of the inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia as “Akkadians” is known from Mari. Zimri-Lim was informed in 27 135 that an inhabitant of the Northern Plains and “an Akkadian” swore allegiance. The writer added about the Akkadian: “And I could not ascertain his identity, whether the Akkadian who declared the oath of god was Esnunakean or Babylonian.” Akkadians on the Middle Tigris The inhabitants of Assur were ethnic Akkadians who spoke an Akkadian dialect called Assyrian. According to the Old Babylonian documentation from Mari, the principal cities of the later country of Assyria on the east bank of the Tigris, Kalah and Nineveh, were called Kawilhum and Ninet and were in possession of the 55. See above, n. 49. 56. Kraus, “Königliche Verfügungen in altbabylonischer Zeit,” Studia et documenta ad iura orientis antiqui pertinentia (Leiden, 1984), 11.323–27. 57. Kraus translated “Amorites” at first as “Bedouin,” presumably in the general (and unhistorical) sense of a Near Eastern nomad, then adopted the definition “man hailing from an Amorite tribe,” proposing that the Numha, Yamutbal, and Idamaraßeans of §20 of the edict were included in the designation “Amorites.”

Languages and Peoples


Turukku. One day’s travel north of Assur was Ekallatum, the capital of the kingdom that included Assur. It was populated by Numha. The ethnic identity of the sparse sedentary population south of the city down to the southern Mesopotamian plain is unknown. The Akkadians of the city of Assur probably constituted an island population that was more or less restricted to the city and its immediate environs. This assumption accords well with the fact that the Assyrian dialect is quite different from mainstream Akkadian as spoken in southern Mesopotamia. The letters from the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains exhibit some affinities with the Assyrian dialect, but it is difficult to decide whether these affinities are lapses by scribes trained in Assyrian orthography or whether an existing Akkadian dialect in the area shared features with Assyrian. If the letters and records of the merchants of Assur and their predecessors had not been found in their colonies in Anatolia as well as texts from Assur itself, the ethnic identity of the inhabitants of Assur could not have been established from Mari texts, even though they mention Assur and its merchants rather frequently. We probably would have assumed that they were Amorites. This circumstance reminds us that the Mari texts by themselves are not a good source for reconstructing the ethnic map of the orbit of Mari. Akkadians in the Rest of Northern Mesopotamia According to conventional thinking, 58 the area of Mari was populated more or less exclusively by Akkadians until Amorites arrived and the “Lim Dynasty” eventually established itself in the area. 59 The earlier rulers of Mari, beginning with the Old Akkadian period, called themselves sakanakku, “governor.” Calculating the length of the sequence of governors, Durand concluded that there exists a hiatus of about 100 years between the reigns of the last governor and Yahdun-Lim, the second ruler of the “Lim Dynasty.” 60 The area of Mari and Terqa would have been abandoned during that period and repopulated by the Amorite tribes of Yamina and Simªal. Durand does not speculate on what happened to the indigenous population or who they were, but he does not believe that the Akkadians, that is the bearers of Akkadian (and Sumerian) names in Mari during the Lim Dynasty were the descendents of an indigenous Akkadian population of the area. 61 Most rulers of Mari until the Lim Dynasty had Akkadian names, which does not mean much, because the language of royal names is a poor indicator of ethnicity. For example, Sulgi, king of Ur, had a Sumerian name. His many sons had Sumerian and Akkadian names. The king who ruled Mari immediately before Zimri-Lim was called “Samsi-Adad,” which is Akkadian, but also “Samsi-Addu,” which is Amorite. 58. A recent expression of this view can be found in Streck, Amurriter I, §1.24. 59. The Old Babylonian kingdom of Mari is often called the Lim Dynasty, because of the names of the rulers for three consecutive generations: Yagid-Lim, Yahdun-Lim, and Zimri-Lim. 60. Durand, “La situation historique des Sakkanakku,” MARI 4 (1985), 160. 61. LAPO 17, 481–82.



He had two sons to whom he delegated rule of Ekallatum and Mari. The first was Isme-Dagan, “(the god) Dagan-Heard (the plea for a son),” which is Akkadian; the second, Yasmah-Addu, “(the god) Addu-Heard (the plea for a son),” which is Amorite. In his inscriptions, Samsi-Adad stressed his connections with southern Mesopotamian culture by evoking his reverence for the southern god Enlil, by calling himself “king of (the city) of Akkad,” employing many servants with Sumerian names, 62 and so on. 63 He may have been an ethnic Akkadian who bought some good will from his Amorite subjects by giving his son an Amorite name. Or he was an ethnic Amorite who modeled himself in the traditions of the south. The governors of Mari derived their title from a governor in the kingdom of the Old Akkadian ruler Naram-Sin. Most had Akkadian, some Amorite names (Hitlal-Erra and Hanun-Dagan). They could all have been Amorites, and there may not have been an “Akkadian substratum” along the Middle Euphrates. The Old Babylonian documentation from Mari shows that many persons in the kingdom of Mari had Akkadian names. Do they add up to a convincing argument in favor of an Akkadian substratum? C. G. Rasmussen looked at almost 6,000 persons mentioned in Mari texts and found that 34% had Akkadian, 40% Amorite, and 9% Hurrian names. Anbar sorted the names of 1,035 members of Amorite tribal groups and found that 13% had Akkadian, 77% Amorite, and 1% Hurrian names. 64 C. Wilcke found 24% Akkadian names and 76% Amorite names among 117 names of soldiers from the heartland of the kingdom. 65 In 23 432–33 (a list of furloughed midlevel military personnel from the same area), 9 names are Akkadian, 41 Amorite, and 1 Hurrian. Among names that are listed as “personnel of (the palace of) Mari,” I am reasonably sure of the languages of 136. Out of this 136, 76% are Akkadian, 17% Amorite, and 7% Hurrian (9 27). The personnel include agricultural workers, walkers, carpenters, singers, couriers, scribes, gardeners, personal attendants, and others—male and female. Apparently, soldiers tended to have Amorite names and palace personnel tended toward Akkadian names. The palace may have drawn primarily on Akkadians for its service personnel, and these Akkadians may have been members of an Akkadian substratum in the area, or palatial 62. Nine out of twelve persons with Sumerian names served Samsi-Adad and his sons Isme-Dagan and Yasmah-Addu; three served Zimri-Lim. The Sumerian names from Mari are interesting because they show signs of not being genuine Sumerian but having been coined in post-Sumerian times. The names that I have found are collected in appendix 1. The sample includes three names compounded with Iskur, the Sumerian weather god. In Sumer, Iskur played a minor role in the pantheon and was rarely invoked in personal names. On the other hand, the weather god of northern Mesopotamia, Adad or Addu, was frequently invoked in personal names. It seems to me also that the element “live” and “life,” which appears in three names, is less common in genuine Sumerian names. 63. See Birot, “Fragment de rituel de Mari relatif au kispum,” Mesopotamia (Copenhagen Studies in Assyriology 8; Copenhagen, 1980), 148–49. 64. As quoted by Streck, Amurriter I, §1.26. 65. Wilcke, “Truppen von Mari in Kurda,” RA 73 (1979), 50.

Languages and Peoples


culture was influenced by southern Mesopotamia to an extent that favored Akkadian names regardless of the ethnicity of their bearers. I lean toward the second alternative in light of the use of the term “Akkad” at Mari. In 6 76, Zimri-Lim is reminded that the land he is about to rule “is ªclothedº in the ªgarment of Akkadº,” 66 and that he is not only “king of the Hana,” which means here king of the Amorite tribe Simªal, 67 but “secondly king of Akkad” 68 and should, in this role, abstain from “riding (on chariots drawn by) horses” and use “litters and (chariots drawn by) mules” instead. 69 Kupper, the first editor of 6 76, translated “king of Akkad” as “le roi d’Accadien” and noted that the word “Akkadian” referred to the “Babylonianized element of the population.” Charpin and Durand translate “roi d’un (pays) akkadien” and understand the term to mean, in effect, “king of Akkadians,” without spelling out who these Akkadians might be. In 1998, Durand, in accord with his view that no Akkadian substratum existed when the Lim Dynasty established itself, suggested that the “Akkadians” of 6 76 were “the administrative personnel and grand dignitaries that Samsi-Addu installed in Mari during the reign of his son Yasmah-Addu.” 70 But would Zimri-Lim have been counseled against offending the sensibilities of the administrative personnel at a time when they must have been fearing for their lives? After all, their master Samsi-Adad was dead and YasmahAddu was defeated; Zimri-Lim was the new king. I would rather translate “king of Akkad” and understand the word “Akkad” as a designation for the cultural complex, particularly the palatial culture, that had radiated from southern Mesopotamia. Akkadian in Mari If Akkadian names and the fact that Zimri-Lim is called “king of Akkad” cannot establish the existence of an Akkadian substratum in the area of Mari, does the language of the letters hold a clue? The Akkadian as expressed in Mari during the reigns of Yasmah-Addu and Zimri-Lim exhibits peculiarities that have been understood as expressing an Akkadian regional dialect. If such a dialect existed, it indicates that there was an Akkadian-speaking community. The hallmark of the dialect is the contraction of /i/ and following /a/ to /e/. For example, the Akkadian word for “so”/“as follows” is spelled in standard Old 66. I follow Charpin’s and Durand’s restoration of the passage in “Fils,” 144: [ki-ma m]a-atum si-i ß[u-ba-a]t [ak-k]a-di-im-ma hu-l[u-pa]-at; Durand later distanced himself by remarking that the reading is not assured (LAPO 17 732b). 67. See §5 below. 68. sanîs lugal Ak-ka-di-im. 69. I believe that riding in mule-drawn chariots of royalty goes back to the development of the first chariot nobility in Early Dynastic Mesopotamia, when horses had not yet made their way to the area and the chariots were drawn by mules bred from onager and donkey parents. See my article “Maultier” in RLA. Durand suggests in LAPO 17 732c that Zimri-Lim learned to appreciate horseback riding during his exile when he lived close to the Anatolian highlands where horses were kept at the time. 70. LAPO 17, 481–82.



Babylonian orthography ki-a-am, which is supposed to have been pronounced kiam or kiªam. In Mari, it was often spelled ke-em or ke-e-em, which would have been pronounced kem. The feature is also attested for the area of Suhum in the Old Babylonian period. 71 A few examples have now been found even in texts from southern Mesopotamia. 72 The contraction could have been a widespread feature of spoken Old Babylonian Akkadian whose expression was disallowed in southern Mesopotamian schools but not in Mari. But in southern Mesopotamian orthography of the subsequent Middle Babylonian period, the contraction of /i/ and /a/ was indeed expressed in writing, but as /a/, not as /e/. And in Mari, the forms ki-a-am and ke-e-em are found once (27 81:21) side by side. Did the scribe write the word in two ways, or did he faithfully follow a dictation in which the standard and dialectal pronunciations expressed some nuance? Another case is the spelling of the pronoun sa-(a-)ti/ tu in Mari for su-a-ti/tu in southern Mesopotamia. Again, we could see in the southern Mesopotamian form an archaism and assume that southerners spoke satu and wrote su-a-tu. In addition, the same pronoun was also written se-e-tu in Mari, which looks very much like the spelling of a dialectal form. The two features may not seem like much, but it is difficult to evade the conclusion that they establish the existence of a regional dialect and therefore an Akkadian-speaking community. Must they have been ethnic Akkadians, or did the long arm of cultural influence from the south compel settlers in the area of Mari to adopt Akkadian? The Amorite herders who spent most of their time with their livestock in the countryside certainly spoke Amorite. But in the cultured spheres of cities and palaces, Akkadian may have been spoken as a second or even the first language. I imagine it could have been similar to mid-19th-century Russia, where the nobility spoke more or less French, certainly with more or less accent. Akkadian in the Northern Plains Charpin, editing a group of letters that were sent from Ilan-Íura in the Northern Plains, was struck by the clumsy character of their script and the many deviations from scribal conventions. He interpreted these deviations mostly as features of language and concluded that they were evidence of yet another dialect. 73 The letters are indeed a treasure for the linguist. They indicate that the scribes actually spoke Akkadian, but they do not, in my view, indicate a particular dialect, because most aberrations can be explained as features of orthography: (1) Occasionally, there is an unexpected doubled consonant. Instead of writing i-nu-ma for inuma “when,” as was orthographically correct, we find i-nu-um-ma, surely because the word was pronounced inumma. Linguistically speaking, the length of the vowel of the stressed penultimate syllable shifted to the following consonant. Such shifts in length one increment forward or backward are a universal 71. In AbB 13 60 the name Zimri-Addu is consistently spelled Zimreddu. 72. GAG §16 k*. 73. Charpin, “L’akkadien,” 31–40. Accepted by GAG §2 d* as “regional dialect.”

Languages and Peoples


linguistic phenomenon, which was described for Akkadian by E. Reiner. 74 The phenomenon does not indicate a dialect but an unorthographic rendering of common Akkadian pronunciation. (2) The Akkadian prepositions ana “to” and ina “in” were spelled a-na and i-na in OB orthography. The actual pronunciation was often /an/ and /in/ with /n/ assimilated to a following dental, guttural, or labial. What was written in standard orthography as a-na pa-ni-su “to his face” was pronounced appanisu. Ap-pa-ni-su is how the Ilan-Íurean scribe wrote it. (3) Among the Semitic languages, Akkadian stands alone in placing the verbal predicate at the end of a sentence. This practice presumably resulted from the influence of Sumerian, in which the predicate stands in final position. However, the original Semitic word order, with the verbal predicate tending to stand at the beginning of a sentence, is common in Akkadian narrative art, poetry, and personal names. In the letters from Ilan-Íura, and sporadically elsewhere, the verbal predicate is occasionally found at the beginning of sentences. 75 Von Soden attributed the few cases known to him to the influence of Amorite and, in the late periods, Aramaic. 76 Charpin thought the reason was the “vernacular Semitic language” spoken in northern Mesopotamia, which he believes to be “quite distinct from Akkadian.” I assume that the initial position of verbal predicates was a feature of spoken Akkadian that never went completely out of use but was suppressed in writing as a consequence of the strong influence of Sumerian on writing style. The scribe in Ilan-Íura had been taught to place the verbal predicate at the end of the written sentence, but every once in a while he lapsed and wrote the way that he spoke. 3. Suteans People designated Suteans (Sutû) are found throughout Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period. At the time of Samsi-Adad’s reign, an attack by Suteans on Qa†anum and Tadmor (Palmyra) was reported (5 23). During the same time, Sutean leaders were instrumental in safeguarding a caravan going to and returning from Tilmun (Bahrain). During the time of Zimri-Lim, the governor of Saggaratum made a report about a slave-sale “to far-away Suteans, to Yahmamu, be it to Almutu, or else to Eab, a place not heard of, and [from where] they (slaves) will not reach their (home)land” (14 78). Suteans were active in the area of Larsa after it was conquered by Hammu-Rabi (27 161); they appeared on the Euphrates in the area of Terqa, whose governor reported that “Suteans occupy a 3-mile (stretch) of area on the Euphrates above Terqa, and they come all the time and meet with me. And they 74. Reiner, A Linguistic Analysis of Akkadian (The Hague, 1966), 45: “The phonotactics of /:/ (i.e., length) include the characteristic and peculiar feature that the place of length before or after a consonant is non-distinctive. This can be stated as there is free variation between /:C/ (i.e., length before consonant) and /C:/ (i.e., length of consonant).” 75. See the examples in Charpin’s §26. 76. GAG §130 c and d.



return. Not any wrong has occurred” (3 12). Many references place them in Suhum: Samsi-Adad warned his son Yasmah-Addu that 1,000 Suteans were headed for Yabliya (1 100); in a memo there is an entry “about Suteans attacked Harbe and Ayyabe” (23 592); Buqaqum, who was stationed in central Suhum, reported Sutean attacks in 26 482 and 483. Their presence in Suhum is also attested outside the Mari archives. A letter that was probably sent to Sippir reports that the river route above Baßum at the head of the delta was closed because of the Suteans. 77 Relations between Suteans and Mari were sometimes good but mostly bad. The Suteans stayed peacefully in Mariote territory in the district of Terqa, and the Almutu and other Sutean groups paid a sheep tax to Mari, perhaps for such use of pastureland. 78 The Sutean leader Hammi-Talu rendered some service to Mari and was paid with grain in return (6 15). He provided safe conduct for a caravan going from Mari to Tilmun (1 17). On the other hand, Suteans frequently attacked. While the nature of our documentation makes Mari the victim, the opposite was of course also true, as shown by Zimri-Lim’s dream in which two members of his household were captured and held hostage by Suteans demanding return of their homes (26 225). Relations between Suteans and Hammu-Rabi of Babylon were also mixed. On the one hand, Suteans attacked in the vicinity of Larsa after the conquest of the city by Hammu-Rabi; on the other, Hammu-Rabi used them as couriers (6 51). Who were these Suteans? Majority opinion holds that they were an Amorite tribe because most of them bore Amorite names. Yet there are features that set them apart from the Amorites. 79 Suteans had no king, while Amorites were ultimately all subjects of a king; Suteans did not seem to possess cities; unlike the Yamina, Numha, and Yamutbal, they are never called “brothers” of the Simªal. Their “otherness” is most clearly demonstrated by the existence of a separate “Sutean” language, as mentioned at the beginning of this section. A closer look at Sutean names shows a small percentage of non-Akkadian and non-Amorite names that nevertheless belong to a Semitic language, presumably Sutean. But what Semitic language could Sutean have been? There are three possible answers: (1) the Suteans spoke a Semitic language that is otherwise unknown; (2) it was not a language but a dialect of a known language, presumably Amorite; (3) it was Aramaic. In favor of the first alternative, one might point out that the discovery of Ugaritic and Eblaite appeared to demonstrate the fallacy of the conventional view that the Semitic family of languages consists of Akkadian, Amorite, Aramaic, and Arabic throughout the Near East (southern Arabia and Africa excepted) and that these languages made their appearance in that chronological order. The conventional view may have been right after all. It becomes increasingly likely that Eblaite was not a separate Semitic lan77. Texts in the Iraq Museum 2 101 = L. Cagni, Briefe aus dem Iraq Museum, AbB 8. 78. 9 244. The only other group whose name is at least partially preserved on the tablet is restored as Mihalizayu by Anbar, Tribus, 88. 79. Durand, LAPO 17 505, calls them aptly “une ethnie particulière dans toute la correspondence mariote” without broaching the subject of their identity.

Languages and Peoples


guage, but Akkadian, and that Ugaritic belongs to the Amorite-Cannanite language. 80 If we do not accept a priori the existence of Semitic languages in the area in the historical periods other than Akkadian, Amorite, Aramaic, and Arabic, and if Sutean was a Semitic language different from Akkadian and Amorite, it must have been Aramaic or Arabic. In favor of the second alternative, we may note that lexical texts typically mix various criteria in sequencing their entries. Language in our sense may not have been a strict criterion of the passage from Sag B; and, although Akkadian, Amorite, Hurrian, Elamite, and Gutean were indeed languages, Sutean may not have been. I favor the third alternative. There are a number of arguments in favor of Aramaic and one in favor of Arabic. The latter is the name Almutu in 14 78, where the element “Al” may be the Arabic definite article. An Arabic interpretation of the name is weakly confirmed by the fact that the Almutu were located far away. The arguments in favor of Aramaic are the following: A clan-name, Bar-Halanum, is attested in an unpublished text for inhabitants of the steppe area of Suhum. 81 The text does not identify the Bar-Halanum as Suteans, but the steppe area near the Euphrates in Suhum is known to have been home to Suteans. The name has an obvious Aramaic etymology: “Son-of-Halanum.” 82 Second, “Madinatum,” which is attested in 26 483 as denoting a locality in Suhum, would be easily explained as the Aramaic word for “city, territory.” Third, the presence of apparently Semitic (but neither Akkadian nor Amorite) personal names among Suteans indicates a nonAkkadian and non-Amorite Semitic group. 83 The names are not easily identified as Aramaic, which may result from the obscurity of an early local onomasticon written in disfiguring orthography. We might see in the name Ab-da-a a suffixed definite article, a hallmark of Aramaic; however, the spelling may represent Abdaya and is in any case too isolated to be of much value. Most names are in fact purely Amorite. Arameans, settling in post-Amorite Babylonia, adopted local Akkadian names almost exclusively, thus obscuring for us the date and manner of their arrival in Babylonia. The Aramaic Suteans, living a poorer life than their Amorite peers, might have done just the same, adopting Amorite names for reasons of prestige. 80. M. Krebernik classifies Eblaite as a form of Akkadian; E. Knudsen, “Amorite Grammar: A Comparative Statement,” Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau, vol. 1 (Wiesbaden, 1991), comes to the conclusion that the so-called “Northwest Semitic languages,” including Ugaritic, Canaanite, Amorite, and Aramaic “constituted a cluster of closely related dialects rather than a language group.” In light of my view on the original home of the Arameans (see below), I would expect that the affinities of Aramaic to the “Northwest Semitic” dialects are the result of convergence, obscuring the original independence of Aramaic as a language. 81. Charpin and Durand, “Fils,” 163 n. 108. 82. It must be noted that Semitic, including Akkadian, forms words with four radicals in which the second is /r/ or /l/, but a word *barhal does not seem to exist. 83. See M. Heltzer, in The Suteans (Istituto Universitario Orientale: Seminario de Studi Asiatici, Series Minor 13; Naples, 1981), who gave a list of names of people identified as Suteans. I updated his list in appendix 2 and added the occupations where known.



The Mari texts show indications of a typical Aramean habitat. Hammi-Talu, a Sutean leader, who was involved in the attack on Tadmor, was in charge of safeguarding a caravan on the Mari-to-Tilmun leg of its journey. The caravan was sent out by Samsi-Adad from Subat-Enlil. It seems to have reached Tilmun without incident. On the return trip, it was detained before the Sutean Ili-Epuh at a place called Bugre-Well. The caravan included ten enemies of Ili-Epuh, and YasmahAddu, who was responsible to his father, Samsi-Adad, for the well-being of the caravan, involved himself in the affair. He turned to a confidant at the court of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon with the request to let the caravan be rerouted through Babylon. 84 Bugre-Well was accordingly on the route from Tilmun to Mari, in a location to make rerouting of the caravan to Babylon feasible, yet not in the territory of the kingdom of Babylon. We would have expected the route from Mari to Tilmun to follow the Euphrates through the territory of Babylon to the port of Ur, and on to Tilmun by boat and back the same way. The only alternative route that makes geographical sense was to follow the seam where the western edge of the plain of the Euphrates meets the eastern rim of the Arabian Plateau. It is punctuated by oases. One of these is Shithatha, due west of Babylon. Here, or some distance farther southeast, is where I imagine Bugre-Well, the seat of the Sutean Ili-Epuh, to have been located. The strength of the Suteans in Suhum may have a similar geographical background. In the vicinity of Hit, but at some distance from the Euphrates in otherwise barren desert, there are wells, many of them toxic tar pits, but quite a few with potable water. From here, Sutean marauders could prey on travelers following the route over the plateau along the Euphrates. Generalizing these two indications, and in light of the uncanny skill of the later Nabatean Arameans to grow crops in the driest of places, I posit the following hypothesis: The Arameans were a people with a common language, Aramaic, who specialized in exploiting the resources of very arid areas. Their original homes were oases in the wide lands of northern Arabia, Jordan, southern Syria, and western Iraq. They were in contact with settled people on the margins of their habitat, but early contacts were slight and are hard to detect. A few Arameans kept making the transition to settled agricultural areas by hiring themselves out as agricultural workers. 85 Eventually, their numbers on these margins having increased, the Arameans became a factor in the power equation of Near Eastern politics. It surfaced in the war of Tiglath-pileser against the Ahlamean Arameans on the Euphrates in the 12th century b.c. It may be added that Ahlameans are now attested in an Old Babylonian letter about events in Suhum. 86

84. The letter, A.1333, was edited by F. van Koppen, in “L’expédition à Tilmun et la révolte des bédouins,” MARI 8 (1997), 418–21. 85. See the data on Suteans in appendix 2. 86. AbB 13 60.

The Hana


4. Groups That Cannot Be Linked to a Language and Whose Ethnicity Cannot Be Defined (1) The Turukku appear often in the Mari documentation and nowhere else. They were in the habit of crossing the Tigris from the east bank in the area of Nineveh or farther south and of raiding settlements on the west bank as far south as Assur. Their ruler at the time of Zimri-Lim was Zaziya, who bore the royal title nuldanu. 87 His name may be Akkadian, in which case it was pronounced Sasiya and means “Little-Moth.” He was, at least temporarily, a vassal of king Sasum of the Qutum. As mentioned above, Sasum may mean “moth.” Mountain areas are often inhabited by a plurality of ethnic groups with their own languages, each living in a different watershed. This may also have been the case in the mountainous hinterland of the middle course of the Tigris, and the Turukku may have been one of many Zagros people. If we take the language list of Sag B as our guide, we find a different picture: only three languages were listed for the wide, long belt of mountainlands that borders Mesopotamia in the northeast. Perhaps the population of the area was not as dissected and varied as it is in other mountain areas. (2) The Lullu are mentioned only rarely. They are associated with localities in the foothills of the Anatolian mountains that border Mesopotamia in the north.

E. The Hana The territory of the kingdom of Mari consisted of stretches of the river Euphrates and its tributaries Habur and Balih, which were lined with agricultural land and permanent settlements, and steppe land where seasonal vegetation allowed for the pasturing of sheep and goats. So Mari society, as far as it produced food and fed itself, consisted of farmers and shepherds. The latter were called Hana. Anbar gives an instructive survey of the different views on the character of this segment of Mesopotamian society (in Tribus, 9–24). They tend to cluster around two positions. According to one, the Hana were nomads, some of whom eventually adopted a sedentary lifestyle, while others adhered to their original lifestyle. The most recent formulation of this position can be found in Streck, Amurriter I, 24–76. According to the other position, they were pasturalists seasonally sent out by their sedentary relatives to pasture sheep and goats. The texts contain evidence that supports both opinions. The life of the Hana differed markedly from that of their agricultural and urban kin. They were experienced outdoor people and highly valued soldiers. They could deal with lions where urbanites failed (26 106) and found the tastiest locusts for the royal table in faraway locations (27 64). Their military prowess is documented frequently and clearly. Two examples: A Mariote, trying to prevent a vassal king from 87. See D. Beyer and Charpin, “Le sceau de Zaziya, roi des Turukkéens,” MARI 6 (1990), 625; and J. Eidem, NABU 1990 63.



breaking away from Mari, pointed out that “the lance of Zimri-Lim and the Hana” is the basis for security in the land (26 303), and a witness of the final assault on the city of Larsa reports in 26 386: “And ªconsidering thatº [I] ªsawº the zeal of the Hana ªsome time agoº, I (realize that I) had never seen their (true) zeal (until now).” The Hana had evolved a culture of their own that is slowly emerging from the texts. They held “parleys” (rihßum), which were formal occasions when an individual Hana could be heard, 88 and they had diviners called “prophets.” 89 1. Hana Encampments The life of the Hana centered around pastures, flocks, and their encampments. These fixtures of their life were expressed in the single word, nawûm. 90 Different translators prefer one of these three features in translation. I normally translate “encampment.” Such encampments were not compact living areas, such as tent cities, but ranges within which the Hana and their flocks were spread far and wide. For concerted action, they assembled in traditional locations that presumably provided water, windbreak, and shade and may have been improved by generations of pasturalists. These assembly points often developed into settlements. Their names are written with and without a place determinative, which indicates that the scribes were not sure about their status as settlements. None of the names is easily translatable. 91 The pasturing range was dotted with folds where the animals could be sheltered at night against wolves and lions. Like assembly points, folds occasionally developed into settlements, retaining their original function as their name. 92 The encampments of the Simªal Hana were under the control of a royal official, the pasture-chief, whose reports to the king provide us with a good measure of information about the lifestyle of the Hana. The richest source is 26 180, in which IbalPi-El, the pasture-chief of the northern sector of the kingdom, reports about oracular inquiries that were undertaken in order to assess the security of the four encampments under his supervision. The report was written at a time when the encampments were “settling in.” It was written before ZL 9u. 93 88. Durand discovered this institution and described it in 26/1, 181–87. 89. Nabû, which is cognate with nabîª, the word for “prophet” in Hebrew and Arabic. So far, these prophets are only mentioned once, in 26 216. According to that text, they practiced extispicy. 90. See comment 1 to 26 31. 91. Saphum, Guppurum, Raßum, Nasrum, Siharata. Saphum means “scattered” in Akkadian, which would be ironic for an assembly point. The labial could be /b/. Written /h/ represented not less than five Amorite phonemes (ª, º, h, ˙, or h). Saphum is also a common name for settlements. Durand connected Guppurum with Hebrew gibborim “heroes,” which Streck, Amurriter I, 90, finds implausible. Raßum, like Saphum, is a common name for settlements without obvious Akkadian etymology. Nasrum is probably the Amorite word for “eagle” and may have designated a place by a lone tree or high cliff with the nest of an eagle. 92. See Haßiratum in the vicinity of Ekallatum and Haßura (Hazor) in Galilee. 93. After that time, Ibal-Pi-El was commander-in-chief of the Mariote troops in Babylon, and after his return from Babylon, Kurda canceled permission to encamp in its territory.

spread is 6 points long

The Hana


The first encampment was called the “steppe encampment.” Its location was not given. The second encampment was “east and west of Sinjar,” or, as the text also describes it, “in Sinjar.” The Sinjar range was territory of the kingdom of Kurda. That Simªal Hana did pasture on Kurdean territory is documented in 26 392, where the king of Kurda is quoted: “Withdraw your troops that are with Atamrum and withdraw your encampment that is settled in my district!” It is unclear why the location of the encampment is given as “east and west of Sinjar.” Was it a way of saying “all of Sinjar,” or was there perhaps a core area of the kingdom of Kurda from which Simªal Hana were excluded? The third encampment was “settled [ ] to Gassum.” Gassum was a city in Idamaraß. Charpin quotes evidence associating it with Asnakkum, 94 which belonged to upper Idamaraß (5 51). If we restore “settled [from Sinjar] to Gassum,” the encampment encompassed central Idamaraß. The occasional presence of Hana in this area is well attested. At times, this resulted in conflicts with the inhabitants of the numerous small kingdoms in the area. For example, Idamaraßeans allied together and attacked a Hana encampment, according to a letter from Qa††ara (OBRT 9). To prevent conflicts, the Hana allied themselves with the kings of Idamaraß. One such treaty was negotiated by the pasture-chief Ibal-El. He reported that Isme-Addu, the king of Asnakkum, and the elders of a number of the Idamaraßean cities gathered and made a peace treaty with the Hana; the Hana were greatly satisfied because they now had no enemies “in all of Idamaraß up to Hurra,” a city on the northern fringe of Idamaraß. 95 In the beginning of his reign, Zimri-Lim was reminded that his pasture was in territories of the kings of Idamaraß. He should therefore act like his predecessor, Yahdun-Lim, who “gave presents to the fathers of Idamaraß, and his pasture was safe.” 96 Good relations between the Hana and Idamaraß were needed for peace in the area. Isme-Addu, upon becoming king of Asnakkum, exhorted a correspondent to abstain from driving a wedge between Hana and Idamaraß: “The Hana and the land of ªIdamaraߺ were ever one finger and ªoneº heart. Now why do you divide one finger to (make) two?” 97 An Idamaraßean king wrote to Zimri-Lim: “Between the Hana and Idamaraß is ªpeaceº. They pasture up to Zara [ ].” 98 The fourth encampment was from Gassum to the encampment of Sarrum-Kin. One normally spoke of encampments of groups of people, such as the encampment of the Hana, the Yamina, or of Suhum. The Simªal Hana encampments were also occasionally called “encampments of Zimri-Lim.” Sarrum-Kin may also have been a king whose subjects included pasturalists with an encampment. Sarrum-Kin, alias Sargon, the famous founder of the dynasty of Akkad, lived about half a millennium 94. 95. 96. 97. 98.

Charpin, “Campagne,” 182 n. 41. 2 37, A.2226, and A.1056, edited by Charpin in “Isme-Addu,” 182–86. A.1098, quoted by Charpin in “Campagne,” 188 n. 70. A.2326, edited by Charpin in “Isme-Addu,” 172 (photo) and 175. M.9623, edited by Charpin in “Kahat,” 79.



earlier. He was never forgotten, and it is not inconceivable that a pasture area with his name still existed in the Old Babylonian period. More likely, the name belonged to a contemporary king. He seems to be unattested, which is surprising because we are well informed about the kingdoms in the orbit of Idamaraß. This circumstance leads me to suspect that Sarrum-Kin was the full name of Sarraya, king of Razama of Yussan. If so, the fourth encampment would be east of Idamaraß. 99 The third and fourth encampments were contiguous, because the city of Gassum bordered on both. If the second and the third encampments were also contiguous, the three non-steppe encampments would encompass the western part of the Hilly Arc and the central Northern Plains. 2. Encampments Outside the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains Here is a list of attested locations of encampments: (1) According to 26 41, scouts were stationed on the west bank of the Euphrates between Appan and Niattum-Burtum with orders to prevent trespassing on the encampment. Appan was a settlement on the west bank of the Euphrates, not far north of Mari. Niattum-Burtum was a well or cistern. Its location is unknown. The encampment must have been accessible from the line between this well and Appan. (2) A governor of Terqa communicated in 3 15 his concern about Hana flocks grazing on the left side of the Euphrates. He thought it possible that “the enemy,” whom he did not identify, would descend on the encampment, and suggested that a location on the right side of the river would be safer. The encampment should have been at least partly in the territory of the province of Terqa. (3) A governor of Qa††unan reported in 27 65 that Imarites headed for Qa††unan took the shortcut from Tuttul by way of the Hana encampment. If the shortcut was in more or less a straight line between Tuttul and Qa††unan, the encampment was south of Jebel Abd el-Aziz. The Imarites crossed it unnoticed. Text 26 27 is a report by Asqudum on recruiting Hana at the assembly point of Guppurum for a campaign to the north. Asqudum wrote the letter in or near Manuhatan on the 99. The location of Razama and the land of Yussan, or Yassan as it is also spelled, is sought in the eastern part of the Northern Plains. In 1986, Charpin and Durand thought Razama was the easternmost city of Idamaraß (“Fils,” 148); in 1988, Lafont suggested a location midway between the Tigris and Subat-Enlil and referred to a future article that has not yet appeared (26/2, 477); in 1990, Charpin put it in the same general location, somewhere east of the land of Apum, an area that he placed east of Idamaraß (“Apum,” 118); in the same year, Joannès suggested identification with Tell Hawa (“Une expédition dans la région de Shoubat-Enlil,” Dossiers d’Archéologie 155, 45). This would place it some 25 km from the Tigris; in 1994, Guichard pointed to registrations of gifts in Subat-Enlil in 19 VI 7u and Razama in 22 VI 7u and concluded that ZimriLim needed two days to go from Subat-Enlil to Razama, which would exclude Tell Hawa (“Dame de Nagar,” 241 n. 20). Even if we agree with Guichard’s silent assumption that the dates of the registrations of gifts coincided with the presence of the king, these dates allow four days for covering the distance. Joannès’s suggestion fits with the fact that Razama and Íubat-Estar were close, if indeed Charpin’s localization of Íubat-Estar “not far from the Tigris” is correct (“Campagne,” 180).

spread is 6 points long

The Hana


upper reaches of the Mari-controlled Euphrates Valley. He planned to join forces with the king in Qa††unan, so Guppurum should be sought somewhere between Manuhatan and Qa††unan. This would roughly place it in the area where the Imarites passed through the Hana encampment. (4) According to 26 31, Hana assembled in Qa††unan, so their encampment should have been in the vicinity. A governor of Qa††unan reported in 27 43 that a boat was lost when Hana used it for crossing the Habur at ˇabatum on the northern border of the province of Qa††unan. (5) A number of references place Hana encampments close to Lasqum. According to Durand, Lasqum designated the basalt sill that runs across the Euphrates a little upstream from Deir ez-Zor. 100 Stol identified Lasqum with the area called Óamma today. 101 The pastureland of the area was primarily used by the Yamina. In 14 81, a governor of Saggaratum reported: “I sent border guards to ªLasqumº to check, and they then brought back a report as follows: ‘The sheep of the Hana graze up to ªLasqumº. The enclosures reach ª. . .º.’ ” He reported in 14 85: “I heard the following from those around me: ‘Sheep graze in the encampment [of ] the Yamina ªinº Lasqum.’ ” In sum, encampments of Simªal Hana in the northern sector outside of the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains are attested on either side of the Euphrates, on the west side in the area of Mari, on the east side upstream to Lasqum, and on either side of the middle course of the Habur. The pastures of the southern sector in and around Suhum, which were supervised by the pasture-chief Meptum, are poorly documented. According to 26 420, the encampment was at some point close enough to Assur and Ekallatum to raise concern about a possible attack of the king of Ekallatum. The pasture-chief responsible for this southern encampment was apparently stationed in Suhum at all times. It would follow that the southern pasturalists stayed in the area year-round. 3. Transhumance Ibal-Pi-El reported in 26 180 that he arranged for divination “as the encampment is settling in.” The phrase implies that the pasturalists and their flocks had been somewhere else prior to this time and so reveals something about their movements. Since the Northern Plains represented the northern border of their overall range, they must have come from farther south. When did they settle in—at the end of winter, in spring, at the beginning of summer? Two scenarios seem possible: (1) The flocks left their winter quarters as soon as pasture became available in the steppe. They stayed there until the pasture and water dried up and then moved to their summer range, arriving there at the beginning of summer. (2) They moved from their winter quarters directly to their summer range. Some stayed in the steppe south of the dry-farming area; most moved to the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains, settling in at the onset of spring. The only temporal clue that I can find is 100. Durand, 26/1, 125–26. 101. Stol, Trees, 86.



26 389, which documents the existence of an encampment of Simªal Hana in the vicinity of Andarig at the very end of the year ZL 10u. If we generalize the evidence of this document, Simªal pasturalists settled in an encampment in the Hilly Arc in early spring, which fits scenario (2). But I am uneasy with such generalizations, because pasture is available in March/April on either side of the Euphrates and Habur within the territory of Mari in years with average precipitation, while it is exhausted in early summer, when the flocks would be driven north. The availability of pasture must have changed from year to year, sometimes drastically. Perhaps winter ZL 10u and spring ZL 11u were exceptionally dry, so the flocks were in the Hilly Arc earlier than usual. More datable evidence is clearly needed. I also cannot find clear information on the winter quarters of the pasturalists. The flocks and their herders may well have stayed into late autumn in the north, but would have found the outdoors increasingly uncomfortable and pointless as temperatures dropped, rains set in, days grew short, and plant growth slowed and stopped. I would suggest 2 scenarios: (1) The Hana stayed outdoors in the southern steppes, close to the Euphrates or another source of water, such as the springs in Haqat (Wadi Suab) and elsewhere, and their flocks obtained their nourishment essentially from the meager steppe vegetation and stretches of river banks that were not otherwise used. (2) They stayed indoors with their relatives in towns, grazing their flocks on young barley plants, stubble, the vegetation of fallow fields, handcollected reeds, and so on. It is likely that pasturing involved a pattern of migration, but the spatial and temporal parameters are not yet known. 102 4. The Term Hana The use of the designation “Hana” presents an interesting semantic field that was discovered step by step and still presents difficulties. Kupper, in his classic study of 1957 on nomadism in Mari, 103 encountered passages in which Hana and Yamina are contrasted and concluded that the term “Hana” designates a tribal unit on the same level as Yamina and Simªal. This view became untenable when the expression “Yamina Hana” was found. I. Gelb concluded that an originally ethnic designation “Hana” had developed into the generic term “nomad, Bedouin.” 104 Charpin and Durand concluded from the same evidence that “Hana” must designate a tribal unit above the Yamina and Simªal. 105 As more passages were published, the usefulness of Gelb’s translation became ever more apparent and was adopted generally, as well as by Durand, who then declared that the term did not designate ethnicity. 106 I believe 102. See the remarks of Durand in “Unité,” 105–6, and “Imar,” 75, about the topic of “transhumance.” He quotes in “Unité” from an unpublished text the words of the Yamina leader DadiHadun, “I passed there for 5 years . . . 10 times upstream and downstream.” His remark in “Imar” refers to 26 112. It is not evident from the quotations that these movements are connected with transhumance, as Durand assumes. 103. J.-R. Kupper, Les nomades en Mésopotamie au temps des rois de Mari. 104. Gelb, “The Early History of the West Semitic Peoples,” JCS 15 (1961), 37. 105. Charpin and Durand, in “Fils” of 1986. 106. Durand, in “Unité” of 1992.

spread is 12 points long

The Hana


we should retain Gelb’s, Charpin’s, and Durand’s original conclusion and allow both meanings of “Hana” to coexist. In fact, contexts indicate three meanings: (1) the ancestral tribal unit from which the Simªal and Yamutbal, and probably also the Yamina and Numha, considered themselves to be descended; (2) pasturalists or nomads, regardless of tribal identity; and (3) Simªal pasturalists. The first meaning is clearly attested in sources outside Mari. Hana, spelled Hia-na, appears as an ancestor of Amorite tribal groups, including the Numha, Awnan, and Yahrur, in a late Old Babylonian text that lists the recipients of offerings given and organized by the king of Babylon for his ancestors. 107 In the Assyrian king list, Hana, here spelled Ha-nu-ú, appears as one of seventeen kings in the past “who dwelt in tents.” The relevant passage probably dates to the time of Samsi-Adad. 108 At Mari, this meaning is attested in A.3572, 109 if I understand the passage correctly: Hittipanum, a servant of Atamrum, king of Andarig in the Hilly Arc, writes BahdiLim, the governor of the district of Mari, complaining about Hana, who took some property belonging to a Yamutbal: “[Yamutbal] and Simªal have always related as brothers and are divisions 110 of Hana. And, without being aware (of this), Hana pillaged household goods of your brothers, the Yamutbal. Are the Yamutbal not your brothers?” If brotherhood with Simªal implies descent from Hana, the Numha were presumably also regarded as being a group of Hana, because they likewise declared themselves to be a “brother of Simªal” (A.3577). In view of the correspondence of terms—the Simªal as northerners and the Yamina as southerners—the Yamina may also have been considered as descendants of Hana. If so, Hana would essentially equal our term “Amorite.” An intriguing passage in 28 95 may be relevant here, too: inhabitants of the city of Kiduh in the land of Apum in the center of the Northern Plains were described as follows: “Those men are sons (dumu.mes) of Hana (Hanaki). They are not citizens of his (Ili-Estar’s) land (of Suna).” As city-dwellers, these Hana could not be the pasturalists or nomads of meanings 2 and 3 of the term. They appear to be contrasted, as descendants of Hana (presumably Yamutbal), with the inhabitants of Suna, perhaps Hurrians. The second meaning is abundantly documented and needs no justification. I quote a few examples. “Like a merchant who moves ªbetweenº war and ªpeaceº, the Hana ªmoveº [between] war and peace in their comings and goings.” 111 “My lord must not get angry because I did not arrive before my lord. My lord knows that the mayors and the Hana are staying with me in Samanum. And for the reason that they did not meet their brothers, the city dwellers, since many days, they are staying 107. J. J. Finkelstein, “The Genealogy of the Hammurabi Dynasty,” JCS 20 (1966), 95– 118. The list also includes a series of “times of rule” (bal = palû), the first two being those of Amurrum and Hana. 108. See F. R. Kraus, Könige, die in Zelten wohnten (Amsterdam, 1965), 11–13. 109. Edited by Durand in “Unité,” 114–17. 110. Pursat, a new word. The basic meaning of the root prs “separation” and the context strongly suggest the translation “division.” 111. A.350+, edited by Charpin in “Apum,” 120–22.



so long.” 112 In M.6060, 113 “the Hana of the encampment and the people of the cities” are contrasted. The tribal affiliation of pasturalists called “Hana” is sometimes given. Text 23 87 enumerates Hana of the Simªal clan Nihad; in 5 81 it is reported that “the Hana Yamahammu” crossed the Euphrates; and a group of Hana that pastured in eastern Idamaraß is identified by tribal designation in 26 358. Often the pasturalists of the Yamina are called “Yamina Hana.” The term sets them apart from “Hana” in the third meaning of the word, namely, “Simªal pasturalists.” This specific meaning arose in the context of the governmental control of Simªal pasturalists, which is often a topic in our sources. Especially during the reign of Zimri-Lim, who was a Simªal himself, Simªal pasturalists represented his most important support because he could rely on their loyalty. As a result, the Simªal Hana were often mentioned and often simply called “Hana.” For example, the pasturechief Ibal-El concluded his reports with the formula “the encampments of my lord and the Simªal are safe,” while referring to these “Simªal” in the body of the report as “Hana.” Zimri-Lim’s predecessor, Yahdun-Lim, called himself “king of Mari and the land of the Hana,” while his daughter Nagiha called him “king of Mari and the land of the Simªal” 114 in the legend of her seal. Zimri-Lim adopted Yahdun-Lim’s title. If its meaning did not change, we must understand “Hana” in the title as Simªal pasturalists rather than as pasturalists in a general sense. 115 When reference was made to the frequent problems between Simªal and Yamina Hana, the former were called “Hana” and the latter “Yamina.” 116 To quote one of many examples: A governor of Qa††unan reported in 27 17 that “the Hana ªof the vicinity of Qa††unanº, 200 troops, ªassembled, and Yatar-Limº is their guide. They went to make war on the encampment of ªthe Yaminaº.” Streck believes that “Hana” was a geographical name that cannot be further etymologized and that evolved the meaning “nomads” because its population tended to have a nomadic lifestyle. 117 Durand explains the word “hanû” as one “who lives in a tent,” which he derives from Biblical Hebrew ˙nª, “des sens analogue.” 118 Streck remarks that the Hebrew word has no specific connection with tents and means “to camp” in a general way. 119 Such a meaning fits the Hana very well, because they are typically found in encampments. 112. A.3080 = Durand, Mélanges Perrot, 102–6 = LAPO 17 733. 113. Edited by Durand in “Protocoles,” 50–52. 114. Charpin and Durand, “Fils,” 152. 115. Durand uses the general meaning for “Hana” in this phrase and translates, “pays béduin” (for example, in LAPO 17 432). 116. This is the kind of terminology that led to Kupper’s opinion of “Hana” as a tribal term like “Yamina.” 117. Streck, “In der Regel nomadisierende Bewohner von Hana > Nomaden” (Amurriter I, 50). 118. Durand, LAPO 17 417. 119. Streck, Amurriter I, 93.

Chapter 2

Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

A. Introduction 1. On the Eve of Hammu-Rabi’s Unification of Mesopotamia The political history of southern Mesopotamia from 2500 to 1500 b.c. can be understood as three and one-half lengths of a wave, beginning and ending with a trough—the troughs being periods of fragmentation and the crests periods of unification. The second crest represents the rule of the Third Dynasty of Ur. With the disintegration of the kingdom of Ur around 2000 b.c., southern Mesopotamia entered the third trough, characterized by the fragmentation of political power and the movement of Amorites into leading positions. 1 In our conventional periodization of Mesopotamian history, the Old Babylonian period begins during this time, which is around 1850 b.c. according to the Middle Chronology followed here. 2 The wave was on the upswing again, and the elimination of weaker by stronger kingdoms characterized this phase. In the south, the kingdoms of Esnuna, Larsa, and Babylon became dominant, possessing as heartlands the delta areas of the Diyala, the Tigris, and the Euphrates, respectively; in the north, Samsi-Adad eliminated all rivals and ruled over the middle courses of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Hilly Arc, and the Northern Plains. In the end, Hammu-Rabi of Babylon conquered Larsa, Esnuna, and Mari, and so pushed the wave to the crest by unifying the entire territory of Mesopotamia under his rule. The three years of Zimri-Lim’s reign, whose main events are reconstructed here, include Hammu-Rabi’s conquest of Larsa and Esnuna, and are followed immediately by his conquest of Mari. Within the movement of the ascending wave, the three years are located just before it reaches its summit. 1. The period was called the Second Intermediate Period in D. O. Edzard’s classical study Die “Zweite Zwischenzeit” Babyloniens (Wiesbaden, 1957). 2. I favor this chronology because it is most widely used. See below, §5, for other chronologies.



Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 2. The Tin Factor

The Old Babylonian period belongs to the Middle Bronze Age of the Near East, a time when weapons, tools, containers, and sculptures were mainly made of bronze. The type of bronze in that age was an alloy of copper and tin, the two metals that functioned as the strategic metals of the time. No country of consequence could afford to be without them. Copper was widely available. In the early periods, Mesopotamians imported the bulk of their copper from Oman. By the Old Babylonian period, the copper mines of Alasiya (Cyprus) became the main suppliers. As a result, the kingdom of Halab (Aleppo), the major power between Mesopotamia and Alasiya, profited. Tin is not found in or near the area of the Near East. In later times it was imported into the Mediterranean area from Cornwall in England. In the Old Babylonian period, tin came from Elam to Mesopotamia and to the lands farther north and west. There were presumably no resources of tin in Elam. It must have come from farther afield. The Roman historian Strabo mentioned as one source the Drangiana, which equals the modern province of Seistan in eastern Iran that straddles the border with Afghanistan. An Old Babylonian, or perhaps older, story about a legendary ruler of Uruk states that the walls of Aratta were made of tin. 3 Sumerian stories locate Aratta beyond seven mountains east of Elam, which points to the same general area. But tin is not found in Seistan either. Its source remains a mystery. Mesopotamians, obtaining their tin from Elam, must have provided that country with wealth and the ability to choke off Mesopotamian bronze production. 4 But it is difficult to document the effects of the tin factor. Perhaps it motivated HammuRabi’s astonishing feat of Real-Politik to forget and forgive the Elamite attack on his kingdom and to renew diplomatic relations with the ruler of Elam at the instant of Elamite withdrawal from Babylonia; 5 perhaps it was the basis for the acknowledgment of contemporaries (including Hammu-Rabi of Babylon) that the ruler of Elam ranked above them. 6 3. The Last Days of Zimri-Lim’s Predecessor Samsi-Adad, whose kingdom spanned all of northern Mesopotamia, delegated rule of Ekallatum to his older son, Isme-Dagan, and of Mari to a younger son, Yasmah-Addu. When the kingdom crumbled and Samsi-Adad died, Isme-Dagan retained the kingship of Ekallatum, but his brother Yasmah-Addu lost control of Mari and was succeeded by Zimri-Lim. It is usually assumed that Zimri-Lim ousted Yasmah-Addu, but the documentation does not favor this view. The changeover 3. Im-bi im an-na “its (the city-wall bricks’) earth is tin-earth.” C. Wilcke, Das Lugalbandaepos (Wiesbaden, 1969), 128–29, lines 414–15. Wilcke understands “tin-earth” as the name of the stone na4.im-an-na. See his comments on pp. 221–22. 4. The tin trade between Mari and Elam is treated in detail by Joannès, in “L’étain.” 5. See §46. 6. See Charpin and Durand, “Suzeraineté.”



from Yasmah-Addu’s administration to Zimri-Lim’s fell between the 11th day of the month of Mamitum during the last year of Yasmah-Addu’s rule and the 4th day of the first month in the first year of Zimri-Lim. 7 The month of Mamitum was the 5th month of the calendar in use under Samsi-Adad, a calendar in which the year started in fall. It corresponds to the 10th month of the calendar that was used in Mari before the time of Yasmah-Addu and restored by Zimri-Lim. The year in that calendar started in spring. The gap between the administrations of Yasmah-Addu and Zimri-Lim is therefore a little over two and one-half months. The incoming administration could have used the calendar of the outgoing administration until the beginning of the new year to make accounting easier. If this were the case, the date of one text alone would not reveal to which administration it belonged. But we have a text from the 1st day of that month of Mamitum that registers an expenditure of myrtle oil for the “great king,” a title not used in the time of Zimri-Lim. If we are very careful and declare this text the last proved text of the administration of Yasmah-Addu, the gap between the two administrations was 3 months and 3 days. 8 Two documents from the month preceding the last records of the administration of Yasmah-Addu report expenditures of ointment for fugitives. The first fugitive came from Dir. The expenditure was registered in Mari on the 17th day (7 33). The other fugitive came from Tizrah. The expenditure for him was registered on the 21st day (7 35). Dir and Tizrah were settlements in the district of Mari, Dir being located a short way south of the city. Anbar connected the flight of a person from Tizrah to a passage in the so-called “victory stele of Zimri-Lim.” 9 This text, written on a clay tablet, was written in archaic characters that were used for monumental inscriptions in stone. 10 The badly preserved text contains statements about at least four military defeats, two livestock rustlings, and some other topics. Dossin, the first editor, understood lines 17u–20u to be reporting the victory of Zimri-Lim over Yasmah-Addu at Tizrah, even if Zimri-Lim’s name is not mentioned. 11 Charpin and Durand, having reedited the text in MARI 4, 321, thought it was possible that it described victories of the brothers Isme-Dagan and Yasmah-Addu. They translated 7. See Charpin and Durand, “Pouvoir,” 304; a list of the last texts of the administration of Yasmah-Addu is included in Charpin, “Les archives d’époque ‘assyrienne’ dans la palais de Mari,” MARI 4 (1985), 265. For their historical relevance, see Anbar, “La fin de règne de SamsiAddu I,” Mélanges Finet, 12. The first text of the administration of Zimri-Lim is 22 313. 8. Durand and Guichard argue in “Rituels,” 30–31, that Zimri-Lim wanted the start of his rule to coincide with the start of his calendar and therefore regarded the last month of YasmahAddu’s rule as the last month of a year, which would have advanced the official year two months with respect to the solar year. I hesitate to follow this theory because this year or the next few years were not reset by intercalation. 9. Anbar, “Fin,” 13. 10. Clay tablets with similar characters were published in photographs by Charpin in “Inscriptions votives d’époque assyrienne,” MARI 3 (1984), 41–81. See especially, #2 on p. 69 and #10 on p. 72. 11. Dossin, “Documents de Mari,” Syria 48 (1971), 6.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

the lines as follows: “Yasmah-Addu, à Tizrah, en tua x mille et 260, dans le combat,” referring with “en” to the previous statement about Suheans’ having rustled x thousand cows and 30 thousand sheep at the gate of Ekallatum. 12 Accordingly, YasmahAddu would have succeeded in confronting a very large livestock-rustling party of Suheans in the vicinity of Mari and killed 1,260 of them. This is unlikely because the number is much too high for a time when it was more important to take prisoners of war than to kill enemies and when rustling parties were hardly numerous. I have the impression that the text has no plot. It is a school text, and the teacher may have told his pupil to write something historical with battles and lots of numbers and place-names in monumental script. The various episodes by themselves may have been factual, perhaps even the numbers. The real problem with the passage under discussion is rooted in one missing sign. 13 The overall historical context favors the defeat of Yasmah-Addu, just as the link with the fugitive from Tizrah places it at the end of Yasmah-Addu’s administration. But Yasmah-Addu may also have been—or at least appeared to be—in a rather strong military position before his end—strong enough in any case for two soldiers to desert another army (one from Dir; the second four days later from Tizrah) and seek refuge in Mari. Correspondence from the time of Zimri-Lim is mostly silent on the change of rule from Yasmah-Addu to Zimri-Lim, which is unexpected, if indeed Zimri-Lim defeated Yasmah-Addu. Would not his many admirers and flatterers have found an opportunity to hail and remember the victory that made him king? Charpin and Durand have the impression that the event was tabooed, but they propose no explanation. 14 Zimri-Lim did mention one essential detail. In a letter to a queen who had requested a maid from him, he offered as excuse: “When Yasmah-Addu went out from Mari, the palace was looted. And since I kept departing on expeditions, I provided the prisoners of war, as many as my hand caught them, to (staff my palace).” 15 The intransitive nature of the phrase “when Yasmah-Addu went out from Mari” does not fit the scenario of Zimri-Lim’s defeating Yasmah-Addu in battle. The cause of his leaving was given in a passage from an unpublished text that Charpin and 12. The word ªliº-im in line 17u is singular, as opposed to li-mi in line 14u, so “[1] thousand” can be restored. 13. The preserved text of lines 17u–20u is as follows: [x] ªliº-im 2 me-tim 1 su-si / [da]-aw-daa-am / [x] Ya-ás-ma-ah-dªAdduº / [i-na] Ti-iz-ra-ahki i-du-[ku]. If [sa] is restored as the first sign of line 19u, we must translate “[1] ªthousandº 2 hundred sixty defeated Yasmah-Addu [in] Tizrah.” The construction of dawdâm dâkum with sa introducing the defeated party is common. If the Personenkeil is restored, Yasmah-Addu becomes the victor and the 1,260 become the defeated party. When a number of troops is the object, dâkum can be construed with a double accusative, as in 27 16:9–10 (5 me ßa-ba-am . . . dawdâm iduk). The placement of the subject between the object dawdâm and the predicate is attested elsewhere, as pointed out by Charpin and Durand. “Troops” generally occurs as the grammatical subject of the verb “to defeat” (e.g., 26 365bis:3), but I cannot find another example where a specific number of troops is called the victor. 14. Charpin and Durand, “Pouvoir,” 325 n. 139. 15. 10 140 = LAPO 18 1184.



Durand quoted 16 but, unfortunately, it is lost in a break. I have quoted it already in the introduction as an example of the problem of restoration. A servant of ZimriLim says: “[When ] defeated Isme-Dagan and made Yasmah-Addu go out from Mari, and when the sons of Yamina made war with my lord. . . .” Charpin and Durand restore “[my lord]” as the grammatical subject of the act of defeating—that is, ZimriLim. In light of Esnunakeans’ presence on the scene at that very time, a restoration of “[the Esnunakean]” is also possible. In a letter to Zimri-Lim, who had recently been installed as king of Mari, the king of Esnuna, Ibal-Pi-El (II), proposed a treaty that would fix the border between Esnuna and Mari on the Euphrates at Haradum, close to the southern end of the district of Mari. 17 Ibal-Pi-El, recalling the recent past, said, “[I wrested that] land in a hard battle from the hand of Samsi-Addu. 18 I returned (it) to my side up to Bab Nahli.” Bab Nahli was much closer to Mari than Haradum, so his proposal of a border at Haradum was generous. Ibal-Pi-El did not mention a battle at Tizrah, which supports the theory that it was a victory by Yasmah-Addu. It would have been his last, and very short-lived, victory. If he was subsequently defeated by Esnuna, the “taboo” is explained: Zimri-Lim could not boast of having evicted Yasmah-Addu, because it was not he who did it. New evidence from texts found in Tuttul appear to document an aspect of the transition from Yasmah-Addu to Zimri-Lim. Tuttul belonged to the kingdom of Samsi-Adad and was administered by Yasmah-Addu from Mari. A few texts were found dated up to the next to the last year of Yasmah-Addu’s rule, and four texts were dated according to the calendar that Zimri-Lim reintroduced in Mari. One of these texts has “the year Zimri-Lim entered Tuttul” as year-name; another “the year Zikri-Lim entered Tuttul,” which must be the same name misspelled. It is likely that the year-name refers to the conquest of Tuttul by Zimri-Lim, prior to the ouster of Yasmah-Addu from Mari in the year before his last year of reign. Text 28 77 refers to the time when “[my father (Zimri-Lim)] stayed in ªTuttulº,” whereas he “[had] now ªgainedº possession of the city of Mari.” There is little chance of finding other restorations, and the conclusion that the passage documents Zimri-Lim’s stay in Tuttul prior to gaining possession of Mari seems inevitable. The two remaining texts from Tuttul with Zimri-Lim’s calendar are dated only to the month. If the months are converted to Yasmah-Addu’s calendar, it appears that Zimri-Lim stayed in Tuttul at least from the 11th month of the year before the last of Yasmah-Addu until two months after Yasmah-Addu’s ouster from Mari, which was days before the first texts of Zimri-Lim’s administration were written in Mari. 19

16. A.489, in Charpin and Durand, “Pouvoir,” 323 n. 131. 17. The source is A.1289+, published by Charpin with photos and copy in “Traité.” 18. Ibal-Pi-El uses the Amorite pronunciation of Samsi-Adad’s name. 19. See the more detailed exposition in my review of the texts from Tuttul in a forthcoming issue of Orientalia.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 4. The Early Years of Zimri-Lim’s Reign a. Gaining the Throne

Zimri-Lim was the son of a certain Hadni-Addu, who belonged to the upper crust of Mari society, perhaps to the family of the past king, Yahdun-Lim. 20 When Mari fell to Samsi-Adad, Zimri-Lim may have found refuge in Halab. Nine years later, when Yasmah-Addu “went out from Mari,” Yarim-Lim of Halab intervened and put Zimri-Lim on the throne, as Zimri-Lim gratefully acknowledged outright or by crediting the gods of Halab. 21 This scenario makes sense out of the “taboo” on mentioning how Zimri-Lim gained the kingship of Mari. Just as there was no reason for Zimri-Lim to celebrate the memory of Yasmah-Addu’s leaving Mari because Esnuna was the cause, so also there was no reason to celebrate his ascendancy to kingship because he was made king by Yarim-Lim. b. The First Campaign: To Idamaraß In 26 411 the situation of the newly installed king of Karana is described from the vantage point of the head of the military force that was sent to shore up the security of the new kingdom: “Before the troops of my lord (Zimri-Lim) arrived in Karana, his (Askur-Addu’s) land was restless, and he choked (in fear). Since the day I ªarrivedº before him, [his land] ªhas calmedº and he has established his bases.” We do not have a comparable document from a military commander of Halab about the first steps of Zimri-Lim, the newly installed king of Mari. The documentation comes exclusively from within Mari, and it is rather spotty. Still, it confirms what one would expect: Zimri-Lim had to fight on many fronts to secure his kingdom and his kingship, and he did. He gained control of Mari in winter. In spring, when the year of his calendar started, he went out on his first campaign as king of Mari, heading north to Idamaraß. Some details can be gleaned from 26 5, a letter from Bannum, who replaced Zimri-Lim in Mari during his absence from the capital. The king first went to Terqa, where he underwent an elaborate ritual in the temple of Dagan, the principal god of his kingdom. He made some appointments, and then he was off. His baggage caravan lagged behind. It may have been at about this time that he sent a circular to kings in the north. Two exemplars are known: one was addressed to Tis-Ulme, but 20. Zimri-Lim’s seal mentioning his father, Ha-ad-ni-d[Addu], is published by Charpin and Durand in “Pouvoir,” 337. The restoration [Addu] is based on the fact that Addu-Duri, who was likely Zimri-Lim’s mother, was the wife of a Hadni-Addu (“Pouvoir,” n. 221). The daughters of Hadni-Addu are listed before the daughters of Yahdun-Lim’s immediate successor, SumuYamam, in a fragment that dates to the time before the reign of Samsi-Addu. See Durand, Les dames du palais de Mari,” MARI 4 (1985), 431. 21. The storm gods of Halab claim to have made him king. See the quotation of relevant passages in Charpin, “Traité,” 158 n. 39. The letter A.1153 that is quoted by Charpin is now published as 28 16.



was not sent out and was still in its “envelope,” on which Zimri-Lim’s seal was impressed, stating his filiation from Hadni-Addu; 22 the other was to Abi-Samar and Iksud-La-Semisu (28 148). The letter to Tis-Ulme, king of Mardaman, reads: “The land, all of it, returned to my side. And everyone entered upon the throne of the house of his father. And I heard the following: ‘The land of Idamaraß, all of it, which was holding on to fortresses, 23 pays attention to Zimri-Lim.’ Now write! I shall come and pronounce a strong oath to you. Give me (your) city, and I shall give it its lord! And I shall settle you together with your belongings wherever you say. Quickly send me a response to my tablet!” Obviously, not all of the numerous city-states of Idamaraß opened their gates, chased off their current king, and waited for a new king appointed by Zimri-Lim, even if the new king would have been the original king, who had been removed in the time of Samsi-Adad. Zimri-Lim laid siege to some of these rebellious cities, spreading out his forces, and soon he needed more soldiers. At this point, so I believe, he requested troops from Ibal-Pi-El of Esnuna: “My father (that is Ibal-Pi-El) must dispatch me 3,000 troops whose provisions I will fully bear. [I shall] ªseizeº these cities that I am besieging.” 24 One of them was Kahat. Its conquest was celebrated in the name of the following year: “the year Zimri-Lim seized Kahat.” c. Relationship with Esnuna Esnuna fought its way up the Euphrates into the immediate vicinity of Mari at the end of Yasmah-Addu’s reign. When Zimri-Lim ascended the throne, the Esnunakeans must have withdrawn from the immediate vicinity of Mari. They either had left for the winter on their own, or troops from Halab, who would have accompanied Zimri-Lim as part of Yarim-Lim’s assistance in establishing him in Mari, had pushed them downstream. The source for the earliest contacts between Mari under Zimri-Lim and Esnuna are references to the past in Ibal-Pi-El’s long letter. The first issue mentioned in the letter is Zimri-Lim’s request for 3,000 troops. It is not clear whether Ibal-Pi-El initially honored the request. 25 But by the time he sent the letter, he refused the dispatch of troops, nimbly arguing that his siege of Situllum was as good as dispatching 10,000 troops to Mari. Situllum was the border town between Esnuna and Ekallatum, and Ekallatum was the seat of Isme-Dagan, whom Ibal-Pi-El 22. The text was published by Birot under the title “La lettre de Zimri-Lim à Tis-Ulme” in Mélanges Finet, 21–25, and was treated again as LAPO 16 247. 23. I-na (Birot) / ªsaº (Durand) dannatim ukallu. The formulation in 28 148 differs: “the land of Idamaraß [x] e-em dannatim ukallu. Durand suggests the reading [†]e4-e-em and Kupper restores [sa] e-em. All versions are grammatically and semantically too involved for me to resolve. The passage could mean that the population of Idamaraß was forced to live in fortresses or, more generally, that it held out during hard times. 24. A.1289+. See n. 150. 25. Charpin finds indications in the first, partly broken, column of the letter that Ibal-Pi-El actually had provided Zimri-Lim with troops.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

identified in his letter as the main enemy of Zimri-Lim. The principal issue in IbalPi-El’s letter was the proposal of a treaty that would fix the border between Esnuna and Mari at Haradum on the Euphrates. Zimri-Lim rejected it. He sent an envoy to Halab to inform his benefactor Yarim-Lim of the Esnunakean initiative and stressed his unflagging loyalty to Halab: Esnunakean messengers had come three times to offer peace and were sent back at the border each time with the answer that ZimriLim would not make peace without authorization from Yarim-Lim. 26 Yarim-Lim rejected the creation of an alliance between Mari and Esnuna, including the dispatch of Esnunakean troops to Mari. If Mari needed troops to overcome an enemy, he would provide them. 27 If Zimri-Lim could afford to reject drawing the border at Haradum, the Esnunakean hold on the Middle Euphrates area had weakened considerably since the last days of Yasmah-Addu. In fact, Esnuna had withdrawn completely from Suhum and Mari had filled the vacuum. But Esnuna was on the rebound in ZL 2. A text dated to the 10th month of that year records an expenditure of oil “for anointing Hana, soldiers, and Yabliyaites, when Yabliya was evacuated.” 28 The oil was expended in Dir, the city near Mari. The evacuation of Yabliya and other cities in the area is the subject of 26 35, a report by Asqudum and Asmad from Hurban in upper Suhum. Asmad was a Hana who had risen high in the administration and assisted the king in matters concerning the Hana. Meptum, the pasture-chief stationed in Suhum, had come up from Harbe in lower Suhum in order to assist Asqudum and Asmad in the evacuation of troops that had been settled in southern Suhum. He told them that he himself had settled them, “many days ago, 2,000 strong lancetroops” and that “their population” numbered 10,000, women included, and that there were 3,600 tons of grain and 240 tons of sesame oil in the magazines of the three main cities of lower Suhum. Asqudum and Meptum decided that grain and oil should not be left behind, because the palace could ill afford feeding the evacuees on their way north. They wrote the king for a means of transportation, and the king sent Bahdi-Lim with boats. 29 The settling of 2,000 Mariote troops in lower Suhum shows that Mari regarded lower Suhum as its southern border and had secured it by settling troops there. When did this happen? Meptum said that he settled them “many days ago.” If he had served Yasmah-Addu, which is not currently documented but is not inconceiv26. Charpin noted that expenditures for Esnunakean messengers recorded on 19 X, 1 XI, and 17 XI, obviously match the three Esnunakean embassies. The three records belong to a group of tablets that were sealed by Asqudum. Durand demonstrated that the tablets belong to one and the same year (21, 16–17) and Charpin and Durand suggested that it was the first regnal year (“Pouvoir,” 326). This is now confirmed by 23 257, another tablet of the group, which is dated to 8 X. It lists the expenditure of mutton for the pasture-chief Bannum. He died before IX ZL 2 (26/1, 74 n. 27), that is before any tenth month except the one in ZL 1. 27. The source is A.2988+, edited by Charpin in “Traité,” 160–62. 28. FM 3 58. See appendix 3. 29. Bahdi-Lim reported about his mission from Hanat in upper Suhum in 6 71.



able, the 2,000 could have come to lower Suhum at the time when Samsi-Adad fixed the border in that area, giving Hammu-Rabi of Babylon the city of Rapiqum in the process (26 449). But how could the 2,000 have survived Esnunakean occupation of the area unscathed at the end of Yasmah-Addu’s reign? It seems more likely that they filled the vacuum that withdrawing Esnunakeans left at the very beginning of Zimri-Lim’s reign. The need to evacuate Mariotes from lower Suhum implies a renewed offensive of Esnuna in ZL 2. We can look forward to the publication of sources for this period and this theater of operations in a future volume of ARM. For the time being, the details remain unknown. There was intensive diplomatic activity between Esnuna and Mari during that year. 30 It appears that negotiations between Mari and Esnuna solved the crises between the two kingdoms for the time being by compromising on a border between upper and lower Suhum instead of at Haradum or the southern border of southern Suhum. d. Relationship with the Yamina Zimri-Lim was a Simªal, and his kingdom included many areas settled by the rival tribe of the Yamina. He must have tread very carefully if he wanted to prevent the latent antagonism between the two tribes from developing into war, and there are indeed indications to this effect. Two Yamina leaders, Hardum and Yagih-Addu, were treated to lamb meat and mutton according to records dated to the 9th and 10th month of Zimri-Lim’s first regnal year (21 17 and 23 257), and Zimri-Lim tried to engage the Yamina in joint campaigning. A letter from his servant Sumu-Hadu speaks about a grand plan to get possession of the treasures that Samsi-Adad had accumulated in his residence in Subat-Enlil. The city was still in the hands of an official of Samsi-Adad, who held off the attempts of kings in the vicinity to gain control of the city. One of these was Turum-Natki, king of the land of Apum. He was not able to achieve his goal on his own and asked Zimri-Lim to join him. Sumu-Hadu in 30. Itur-Asdu reported in A.2800 (Jean, “Lettres de Mari IV,” 67–70 = LAPO 16 377) about arrivals of envoys in Mari: “the day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, Sub-Na-El son of Ibal-Pi-El, a man of Tizrah, messenger of my lord, ªAhhu-ˇabuº and Ipiq-Mammi, 2 messengers, consuls, and 1 messenger from before Sallurum, 2 Esnunakean messengers and 1 messenger of Sallurum from Esnuna, arrived in Mari to (see) my lord.” The statement is far from clear, either because we know too little about the circumstances or because Itur-Asdu did not express himself clearly. I believe that 4 messengers came from Sallurum in southern Suhum, 3 directly, one after having gone to Esnuna, and 2 messengers came from the king of Esnuna. See also 2 128, another report of Itur-Asdu: “2 messengers, consuls, came from the Esnunakean Sallurum to Mari to my lord. Now I have readied them (for travel) with the Esnunakean messenger Ißi-Nabu and dispatched them to my lord. Further: I spoke to the Esnunakean Samas-Reªum who came from Andarig as follows: I (said) ‘go to Esnuna! Do not delay (it)!’ ” According to A.2801 (Dossin, “Adassum et kirhum dans des textes de Mari,” RA 66 [1972], 118–20 = LAPO 16 268), a third letter by Itur-Asdu, the Mariote guide of Ißi-Nabu, spilled confidential information. That letter is dated to 12 XI ZL 2 (Birot, “Simahlânê, roi de Kurda,” RA 66 [1972], 132–33).


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

turn asked Yamina pasturalists to join “their Simªal brothers,” enticing them with the words “let a person without slave take away a slave for himself; let a person without maid take away a maid for himself; let a person without donkey take away a donkey for himself.” 31 During ZL 1u, war between Yamina and Simªal broke out, which culminated in a defeat of the Yamina in Saggaratum during that year. The defeat was celebrated in the name of the following year. 32 The first cogent outline of subsequent events, based on published and unpublished material, was given by Durand in 26/1, 139 of 1988. It goes as follows: The defeat of the Yamina at the hands of Zimri-Lim ended their “first revolt” and forced them to flee to the northwest to Qa†anum and to Imar. After intervention by YarimLim on behalf of Zimri-Lim, the Yamina had to move again, this time to the upper Balih, where they found refuge and active help from the king of Harran and other kings of the land of Zalmaqum. With their help, they embarked on their second “attack” or “revolt,” descending the Balih to Tuttul and the Euphrates toward Mari. All this happened in the course of ZL 2u. By the end of that year, the Yamina sent an embassy to Esnuna that secured the assistance of Ibal-Pi-El against Mari. So far Durand. A key event in the eventual defeat of the Yamina was the razing of the walls of Mislan and Samanum. Mislan was the capital of the Yamina clan of Yahrur. It was located in the northern part of the district of Mari. Samanum was the capital of the Yamina clan of Uprapu. It was located in the district of Terqa. The razing of the walls of these cities is documented in a year-name that was used occasionally for records of the 2d month. Villard dated the event to ZL 2u, noting that prisoners of war from Mislan, Samanum, and Raqqum were registered in texts of that year. 33 Anbar argued that Mislan must have already been destroyed in ZL 1u because administrative text 25 424, which is dated 26 VIII 1u, records the weighing of silver (see Durand, NABU 1988 60) that was entrusted to three persons “in Mislan.” He concluded that Mislan was at that time in possession of Zimri-Lim. 34 Charpin separated the destruction of Mislan and Samanum from the taking of prisoners of war at Mislan, Samanum, and Raqqum, understanding the first event as the conclusion of the first “revolt” of the Yamina in the second month of ZL 1u and the second as an episode of the second “revolt” of ZL 2u. 35 Charpin’s view implies that Mislan and Samanum regained military significance after their walls had been razed. 31. Sumu-Hadu’s letter was published by J. Eidem as number 116 in FM 2. Zimri-Lim eventually went to Subat-Enlil at the end of ZL 1u (23 370) for a short trip (Anbar, “Compte rendu,” 387). The grand campaign of which Sumu-Hadu speaks probably did not materialize. 32. The full name is “The year Zimri-Lim defeated the Yamina and their kings in Saggaratum” (G. Dossin, “Les noms d’années et d’éponymes dans les ‘Archives de Mari,’ ” Studia Mariana [Leiden, 1950], 55 #6). It was usually abbreviated to “The year Zimri-Lim defeated the Yamina.” 33. In 23, 484. 34. Anbar, “Compte rendu,” 387. 35. Charpin, NABU 2000 57.



There are two additional pieces of relevant information: 170 arrowheads were “carried to Raqqum for ªthe kingº” in 24 VII ZL 2u, 36 and “a camp of Mislan” existed in 11 VIII ZL 2u. 37 Zimri-Lim’s need for arrowheads in Raqqum suggests that he was fighting in the area and thus agrees well with the appearance of prisoners of war from Raqqum in administrative texts dated 1 and 2 months later. The “camp of Mislan” was likely the camp of Mariote troops in front of the city of Mislan before that city was conquered. Villard was accordingly tempted to date “The year that ZimriLim destroyed the wall of Mislan and Samanum” to ZL 3u, but added that this was “very unlikely” because the letters from Mislan, 26 168–72, “were written during the weeks before the conquest of Mislan,” at harvest time. 38 Their authors, who were diviners, predicted that the enemy, Mari, would not lay siege to Mislan. The fields around the city, even across the Euphrates, were being harvested, even though raids were expected. They requested troops to provide more security for the city. Clearly, there is no camp to interdict movement in and out of the city. The letters are not dated, and I can see no reason why they could not have been written during the harvest at the beginning of ZL 2u and the Mariote camp established some time before the 8th month of that year. I would arrange the available information as follows: (1) Zimri-Lim defeated Yamina troops in ZL 1u, the only clear documentation being the name of the subsequent year, “The year Zimri-Lim defeated the Yamina in Saggaratum.” (2) In early ZL 2u, at harvesttime, Mislan was expecting Mari to attack at any time. (3) The attack came in the form of a fall campaign, progressing from Mislan to Samanum and Raqqum. Mariote troops laid siege to Mislan and Samanum, but did not overcome the defenses of the cities. The prisoners of war were taken outside the cities. (4) Mislan and Samanum held out until the first or second month of ZL 3u. 39

36. According to 22 230, after collation by Durand. See D. Lacambre, “La gestion du bronze dans le palais de Mari,” FM 3 (1997), 111 with n. 135. 37. The source is 24 300, which was collated by Durand (see FM 3 [1997], 105 n. 93) and noted by Villard, “Kahat,” 319 n. 29. 38. Ibid. 39. My reconstruction implies that the dating of the fall of Mislan and Samanum in ZL 1u or ZL 2u cannot be correct. Since Charpin, in NABU 2000 57, has already removed the arguments in favor of ZL 2u, I will address only his and Anbar’s arguments in favor of ZL 1u: The action of entrusting silver to 3 individuals during ZL 1u in Mislan as part of the activities of Zimri-Lim’s administration can be dated to a time before (my view) and after (Anbar’s view) conditions prevented such a transaction. The similarity of structure and contents between 9 12, which is dated to the 2d month of “The year Zimri-Lim destroyed the wall of Mislan and Samanum,” and 24 120, which is dated to the 2d month of the “official” year-name of ZL 1u, may be rooted in chronological proximity (Charpin’s view) or typological proximity (my view). Zimri-Lim’s trip to Subat-Enlil in the last month of ZL 1u implies that a threat from a city as close to Mari as Mislan did not exist anymore (Charpin). I can easily conceive of the neutralization of a military threat from Mislan during the absence of the king from the capital.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign e. Relationship with the Numha and Yamutbal

In a letter to the king’s mother, Hali-Hadun wrote that the king, who was in Aslakka, had dispatched him to arrange peace between Kurda and Andarig, the two major kingdoms of the Hilly Arc, their capitals a dozen kilometers apart and forever in competition that often erupted in warfare. 40 The antagonism between the kingdoms was probably fueled by the different tribal affiliations, Kurda being populated by Numha and Andarig by Yamutbal. The area was a buffer between Mari and Esnuna or Ekallatum during the entire reign of Zimri-Lim, and peace between Kurda and Andarig was an important matter for Mari. Published documentation from the early years of Zimri-Lim is patchy. The first king of Kurda after Samsi-Addu was Simah-Ilane, helped to his throne by Zimri-Lim. The principal source is a letter by a certain Ishi-Madar who suggested to Zimri-Lim to “bring out” Simah-Ilane from “where he was staying.” If he would do this, the Simªal and Numha would “turn into one finger that could not be separated,” and Simah-Ilane would return the favor by joining Mari and Babylon as a junior partner. Ishi-Madar made this suggestion “when we arrived in Mari with our lord” (that is Zimri-Lim), a formulation evoking the image of Zimri-Lim’s initial entry into Mari in the midst of his supporters, including a group of Numha headed by Ishi-Madar. 41 Ishi-Madar’s suggestion was put into action and Simah-Ilane became king of Kurda. Simah-Ilane joined Mari and Babylon, who were apparently allied already, but protested the junior status that Mari had in mind, wanting to be regarded an equal partner with Zimri-Lim, so that the two kings would call each other “brother” rather than “father” (Zimri-Lim) and “son” (Simah-Ilane). Such definitions of rank among the kings in Mari’s orbit were taken very seriously and created all kinds of diplomatic difficulties. In ZL 2, SimahIlane visited Babylon and came to Mari on his return. He arrived, escorted by 150 Babylonian soldiers and 50 of his own Numha soldiers, on 12 XI 2; he went with Zimri-Lim to make offerings to Istar of Dir near Mari; and he stayed in Mari until 3 XII before returning to Kurda. 42 Simah-Ilane was eager to gain control of Subat-Enlil, which had been SamsiAdad’s residence, and whose possession was coveted by many kings. The city and its presumed treasures was still being guarded by a holdout of Samsi-Adad’s administration, and there were a number of kings in the area who shared his wish. One episode in Simah-Ilane’s quest is preserved in a letter from Simatum to her father, ZimriLim. Simatum was married to Haya-Sumu, king of Ilan-Íura. According to her letter, her husband was in communication with Turum-Natki, the king of Apum, which was the land surrounding the city of Subat-Enlil. The land of Apum should normally have been ruled from the city, but such was not the case at the time. This is what Simatum said: “About the Numhean Simah-Ilane: he came wanting to en40. See 10 157 = LAPO 18 1092. 41. The source is A.433+, published by Lafont as FM 2 117, and reinterpreted by me in NABU 2002 59. 42. M. Birot, “Simahlânê, roi de Kurda,” RA 66 (1972), 131–39.



ter Subat-Enlil, and Turum-Natki and Haya-Sumu joined forces and dispatched him with shock troops.” 43 What came of it is not known. Simah-Ilane is also mentioned as a potential ally in Sumu-Hadu’s proposal to Zimri-Lim about taking control of Subat-Enlil. 44 One intention of this proposal, if not the principal intention, was to keep allies satisfied who were wavering in their loyalty to Zimri-Lim. Looting SubatEnlil would make Yamina and Simªal recognize each other as brothers; it would also motivate Kurda and Andarig to remain on Mari’s side and not to change sides to Esnuna. The hope for a united front consisting of all the tribes of the area, Simªal, Yamina, Numha, and Yamutbal, was not fulfilled. War broke out between Simªal and Yamina, and the relations between Kurda and Andarig deteriorated during ZL 2u. In ZL 3u, when Hali-Hadun wrote his letter to the king’s mother, Mari tried to arrange peace between the two kingdoms. A renewed attack on the area by Esnuna finally brought the tribes together under the leadership of Mari. f. War with Esnuna After Zimri-Lim’s rejection of Ibal-Pi-El’s proposal to draw the border at Haradum and the eventual compromise that gave Esnuna control over lower Suhum and Mari over upper Suhum, the two kingdoms pursued their interests without military clashes for some time. Beginning in ZL 2u, continuing in ZL 3u, and culminating in ZL 4u, relations between the kingdoms were hostile and deteriorated to open warfare. 45 Most informative for the reconstruction of events is a letter by the Mariote general Yassi-Dagan, an exceptionally long and well-preserved document. 46 43. Simatum’s letter was published by Dossin as 10 5. It is difficult to understand. Durand, in his reedition, LAPO 18 1222, understands Simatum to say that Haya-Sumu and Turum-Natki sent Simah-Ilane back home, translating, “Sim(m)aª ila-hanêm . . . , étant allé pour entrer à Subat-Enlil, . . . l’ont réexpédié chez lui grâce au gros de l’armée.” 44. FM 2 116, edited by J. Eidem under the title “Raiders of the Lost Treasure of SamsiAddu.” 45. The first sketch of the events was given by Durand in 1988 in 26/1, 140–49. He characterized them as “war with Esnuna” on three fronts in Suhum, the northeast, and the area of Aslakka during ZL 3u. Durand’s sketch was very influential. It underlies Anbar’s terse description in “Compte rendu,” 389, of 1993. As new sources became available, Durand changed some aspects of his view. In LAPO 17, 144–45, of 1998, he speaks of the Esnunakean assault as twofronted, dropping the front in Aslakka. He dates A.1610 and 1212, a source for the last stages of the war, to ZL 3u in “Talhâyum,” 108, and to ZL 4u in LAPO 17. A brief summary of the documentation that is available today is given in appendix 3. Anbar, reconstructing the events in “L’expédition d’Esnunna et les relations entre Mari et Andarig durant les années ZL 3u et ZL 4u: Problèmes chronologiques,” IOS 17 (1998) 297–309, comes to different conclusions. Durand and Charpin have announced publication of many letters that will provide additional information. 46. A.1025, published by Kupper under the title “Une lettre du général Yassi-Dagan,” MARI 6 (1990), 337–47. Durand gave his own translation and interpretation as LAPO 17 545. He could draw on collations done independently by Charpin and Ziegler.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Yassi-Dagan reported that the kings in the Hilly Arc were frustrated by Zimri-Lim’s having left the area prematurely and withdrawn to the Euphrates. They had hoped he would “tear the claw of the Esnunakean from the land and save them,” but were now openly doubting that he ever would. Their doubts were fueled by a secret message carried by a shepherd instead of a messenger from Zimri-Lim to Qarni-Lim. Qarni-Lim, who had succeeded Simah-Ilane as king of Kurda, was at the moment officially an ally of Esnuna. The message was intercepted and became known. It included the statement “about the secret matter for which I sent the herder to you, fix up this matter for me quickly!” To Mari’s allies it sounded as if Zimri-Lim was about to make peace with Esnuna behind their backs: “They heard this tablet, and they started ªblackeningº my lord as if my lord had made peace with the Esnunakean.” Sasiya, king of the Turukkeans, saw his chance to replace the leadership of Zimri-Lim in the Hilly Arc with his own, which would allow him to deal directly with his enemy Hadnu-Rabi of Qa††ara. Chiding the kings for having chosen Zimri-Lim as “father,” a man who had adopted the despicable habit of having himself carried in a litter, he argued that Zimri-Lim’s actions in the area during the last two years did not show him to be a friend of the region: “What are these things that Zimri-Lim decided on (doing)? Last year he ªcame upº to the interior of the land. The kings adopted him as their father and leader, and he gave troops to Hadnu-Rabi. He (Hadnu-Rabi) took my cities, attacked my sheep, and kept setting snares for me. Afterwards the Esnunakean came up, and Zimri-Lim rose and departed for his land. He did not save you. Now he came up a second time and called on the life of the god with Qarni-Lim and the Esnunakean and departed for his land.” Yassi-Dagan wrote his letter in winter. He said, “ªAfterº the days have improved and these parts have warmed up, we shall ªfightº with the Esnunakean.” As will be shown below, Mari and Esnuna did fight in ZL 4u. According to Sasiya, however, they did not fight. It seems to follow that Sasiya was speaking about the years ZL 2u and ZL 3u. 47 The conflict between Esnuna and Mari in the area of the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains was at first indirect. The kingdoms tried to gain a foothold by making allies, and both campaigned in the area, but, as Sasiya’s words suggest, they came at different times. Esnuna actually informed Mari of its plans to “firm up” its border region and march to Subat-Enlil. Esnuna may have wanted to keep good relations with Mari despite encroaching on its sphere of influence, or to warn Mari against interference. Zimri-Lim related the information to Asmad, a Hana leader, who in turn communicated it “to the kings, all of them.” All 17, ostensibly allies of ZimriLim, are mentioned by name, providing us with a valuable list of who was who among Zimri-Lim’s allies in ZL 2u (see appendix 5). The list appears to be geographically organized. The scribe proceeded in counterclockwise fashion, beginning with the kingdoms of the Hilly Arc, continuing to the eastern, central, and western portions of the Northern Plains, and ending up with a clockwise swing to the kingdoms 47. Durand, LAPO 17 545u, comes to the same conclusion.



of Zalmaqum farther north. 48 Qarni-Lim of Andarig and Ibal-Addu of Aslakka are missing. The former was apparently already collaborating with Esnuna; the latter was not yet king of Aslakka. At the end of the letter, Asmad mentions that the Yamina leaders Hardum and Yagih-Addu had been driven from the land (A.3591). 49 According to Sasiya’s speech, the Esnunakeans came up in ZL 2u after Zimri-Lim had left. What they accomplished is unclear. Perhaps they conquered, or peacefully incorporated, Assur and Ekallatum, an event that Meptum describes in A.2459 with the words, “after Assur, Ekallatum and Esnuna have now become one house.” 50 In the same year, Esnuna moved against lower Suhum and the northern reaches of the kingdom of Babylon. The city of Rapiqum was destroyed and celebrated in the name of the next year, which was Ibal-Pi-El’s 9th regnal year and corresponds to ZL 3u. Rapiqum belonged to the kingdom of Babylon. It was located close to its northern border, near the head of the Euphrates Delta. Mariote allied troops were stationed there. They were warned of Esnunakean troops headed for the city (28 178) and left the city during the 7th month, withdrawing to Yabliya in lower Suhum; they fortified lower Suhum but left the cities of Id and Harbe without their protection. Five thousand Babylonian troops came up to Harbe at that time. Buqaqum said that they had come “either to view the border region, or else for another reason” (26 477). Mariote indifference to the cities between Rapiqum and Yabliya, the appearance of Babylonian troops in Harbe, and Buqaqum’s remark indicate that Babylon was responsible for the defense of the Euphrates Valley up to Yabliya at this time. The Esnunakeans eventually attacked Rapiqum, defeating the troops that had come out of the city. They did not lay siege to the city but rustled sheep, advancing upstream as far as Yabliya (26 504). The destruction of Rapiqum is not documented in published letters. It presumably capped Esnunakean advances in the area in ZL 2u, and the campaign season ended with Mari holding on to Yabliya. I assume further that Zimri-Lim expected a renewed struggle during the next campaign season and used the winter to rally the support of Mari’s allies. This phase may be represented by the letters from Qa††ara (OBRT 3 and 4) and 10 157. 51 In ZL 3u, Esnuna fought its way up the Euphrates in a massive assault. Yabliya was taken and Mulhan, the northernmost city of lower Suhum, endangered (A.2459; 26 503; 26 479 and 480). During the same campaign season, Esnunakean troops appeared in the far northeast, defeating Sarraya of Razama of Yussan and two 48. The geographical criterion is dropped in favor of listing the two Razama together. 49. See Guichard, “Dame de Nagar,” 257 n. 77. The land from which they were driven and Asmad’s location at the time he wrote the letter are presumably the same, yet unidentified. 50. Charpin and Durand date the letter (in “Assur,” 373) to ZL 3u. But Meptum concluded it by saying “the district is safe.” While it is true that this formula is found in letters that report troubles, so that it actually means “otherwise the district is safe,” the problems in Suhum were so severe in ZL 3u that the formula would be out of place at that date. 51. The dating appears to include an illogical element, inasmuch as Hadnu-Rabi planned to send troops to save Zimri-Lim (OBRT 4) and Sasiya says that Zimri-Lim sent troops to Hadnu-Rabi (A.1025). But other examples for such mutual troop exchanges exist. See §36.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

neighboring kingdoms, and creating a situation that motivated Kurda and Qa††ara to lean toward accommodating Esnuna (14 106). But Esnunakean peace offerings were rejected by Kurda after all, and eventually Esnunakean troops laid siege to the city of Kurda (27 19). They did not fare well. Kurda beat the besiegers in a sortie and chased them all the way to their ally Qarni-Lim in Andarig (27 16). A Mariote task force of 200 Hana troops sent to support Kurda against Esnuna arrived after the Esnunakeans had left. 52 It was autumn, and the end of the campaign season in the north was near. The Esnunakeans accompanied their ally Qarni-Lim of Andarig to Subat-Enlil— Qarni-Lim to bury the king of Apum Turum-Natki and Esnuna to retrieve its share of the household goods of Samsi-Adad prior to returning home. 53 From the viewpoint of Esnuna, the events of the campaign season were a success that was celebrated in the name of the coming year, Ibal-Pi-El’s 10th regnal year, as defeat of “Subartum and Hena.” Subartum should refer to the victory over Sarraya; “Hena” should refer to the Hana troops who were pushed upstream in Suhum, or the Simªal population of Suhum, if the use of Hana in this meaning was current in Esnuna. Esnuna renewed its military effort in Suhum and the Hilly Arc in the following year. It still may have wanted to draw the border in Haradum on the Euphrates and establish a permanent presence in Subat-Enlil. Charpin believes that its wish to rule over the Middle Euphrates region, the Hilly Arc, and the Northern Plains sprang from a geopolitical logic that shaped the great kingdoms of Naram-Sin, an earlier king of Esnuna, and of Samsi-Adad. 54 Measured against such a goal, the accomplishments of ZL 3u had been meager: a foothold in the eastern section of the Northern Plains by reducing some of its kings to vassals, occupation of parts of the head of the deltaland that belonged traditionally to Babylon (namely, Rapiqum on the Euphrates and the area north of Kakkulatum on the Zubi, the western arm of the Tigris), 55 and occupation of lower Suhum. 52. The source is A.2821, edited partially by Jean, Révue des études sémitiques (1938), 128–29. Durand in 26/1, 159 n. 12, and Charpin in “Subat-Enlil,” 136 n. 37, assert that Jean’s treatment is full of mistakes. One of these must be his rendering of the explanation that the king of Kurda gives to the commander of the force of 200: “J’ai fait une alliance défensive (sa-lima-am na-ßa-ra-tim) avec ‘l’homme’ d’Esnunna et Qarnilim.” The sequence of the words is ungrammatical, and a word that would be spelled na-ßa-ra-tim is not attested elsewhere. Perhaps the correct reading is sa-li-ma-am i-na sà-ra-tim “(I made) a peace treaty through lies.” 53. An interesting parallel to the retrieval of household goods (enutum), which is mentioned in 27 17, is provided by OBRT 5, a letter in which Bunu-Estar tells Hadnu-Rabi, “since you ªbrought outº the share of Zimri-Lim from among the e-nu-[tim] that you brought out (tuseßßênim is dialectal for tuseßênim, which mimics a present tense form) of Subat-Enlil, . . .” Later on in the text, Bunu-Estar is quoted as saying that he heard that “the Esnunakean has quit already (ina panimma, translation S. Dalley),” which presumably refers to the return of Esnunakeans from Subat-Enlil in A.2821. It appears then that “the treasures of Samsi-Adad” from Subat-Enlil were divided between Mari, Kurda, Qa††ara, Esnuna, and presumably Andarig. It would be interesting to know how this division came about. 54. Charpin, “Engrenage,” 100–102. 55. Meptum sent his men to the gate of Kakkulatum in order to gather information about the land of Esnuna (10 155). This implies that Kakkulatum was a border town at the time.

spread is 1 pica long



In ZL 4u, Esnuna changed tactics, leaving the situation in Suhum unchanged and concentrating its efforts on the Hilly Arc. Fifteen thousand troops, led by the Yamina Yagih-Addu and Atamrum, king of Allahad, came up from Esnuna (10 155; 28 168). They were believed to be headed for the Euphrates at first. When it became clear that they were advancing on the Hilly Arc, it was expected that they would march on Qa††ara, Allahad, Andarig, Kurda, and across Mount Saggar in order to conquer “the land of Subartum, all of it” (A.2119). The political scene in the Hilly Arc had changed in the meantime. Most importantly, Qarni-Lim of Andarig had changed sides, so that all of the major kingdoms in the area were now lined up against Esnuna. Mari had engineered the entry of Andarig into the coalition. It also included many important kings of Idamaraß. Even Sasiya, who had rallied against Mari a few months before, was on board. A spate of letters informed Zimri-Lim of the stages in which the military forces closed in on each other (28 168; A.654; 26 508; 27 64). In the last of these letters, the Esnunakeans were close to Allahad, a safe haven for them because its king Atamrum was one of the commanders of the Esnunakean troops (26 467). At this point, the documentation of contemporary letters stops. Unless such letters exist and are unpublished, we can assume that the king arrived at the scene. Administrative records and a reference to the events in a later letter mention the key events. The Esnunakean camp in Nagibum was conquered and occupied by Mariotes, and the Esnunakeans withdrew behind the walls of Andarig. Whether the citizens of Andarig opened the gates or the Esnunakeans fought their way inside is unknown. A year-name used occasionally shows that Zimri-Lim laid siege to Andarig. 56 It was used to date a text that registers the receipt of a gift “in Nagibum” (25 35). Another year-name that appears occasionally, summing up the actions of Zimri-Lim in more general terms, is found on the record of a muster of Hana troops: “year Zimri-Lim went up to save Andarig” (M.5705). The essence of Zimri-Lim’s actions was expressed five years later by a Mariote royal servant who tried to keep a wavering ally from abandoning Mari by saying: “Do you not know that my lord removed the Esnunakean, a strong king, without (the help of) allied troops from the gate of Andarig?” (26 303). In light of the large allied force that Zimri-Lim brought to the confrontation with the Esnunakeans, the statement is remarkable. The removal of Esnuna from Andarig was decisive. Esnuna ceased its assault on Mari, and the two kingdoms formally established peace during ZL 4u. The Yamina, who had lost their most powerful sponsor against Zimri-Lim, clung to the desperate hope that an overconfident Mari would be vulnerable to raiding and fortified Abattum beyond the Mariote border upstream on the Euphrates (14 84). But nothing came of it, and the war between Simªal and Yamina petered out. Many Yamina prisoners of war were allowed to be ransomed by their families. 57 Yamina leaders 56. “Year Zimri-Lim laid siege to Andarig.” Charpin, “Engrenage,” 101, believes that the yearname refers to the siege of Andarig by Hadnu-Rabi that is mentioned in OBRT 2. I cannot believe that the military feat of a vassal would be celebrated as the deed of his suzerain by a year-name. 57. Villard, 23, 476–503.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

who had spearheaded the fight against Mari, among them Yagih-Addu, disappeared, and a new group of leaders friendly to Mari, among them Íura-Hammu of the clan of Awnan, took their place. g. The Middle Years After the battles with Esnuna and the Yamina had been fought, a more tranquil phase of Zimri-Lim’s reign began. Mari had difficulties with strife among its many allies and vassals in the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains, and the border with the kingdom of Babylon on the Euphrates proved a stubborn problem, but the middle years were essentially devoted to improvements within the kingdom. The population was counted, taxes were collected, public works were organized, canals were dug, new fields were planted, and temples were refurbished. The turbulence of the last years were foreshadowed in ZL 7u, when Zimri-Lim decided to support Elam against Esnuna. But the shadow was not recognized. Mari was unconcerned about helping to remove the buffer between itself and Elam. When the winter of ZL 8u lost its grip on the land, Zimri-Lim started on a journey to visit Yarim-Lim, the king of Halab, his sponsor, who was now also his father-in-law; and the two kings, with family and retinue, traveled to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time, Elam advanced on Babylon and the Northern Plains. And with this event, I begin a detailed reconstruction of the three years labeled ZL 9u–11u, but not before looking at aspects of the Mariote calendar during the reign of Zimri-Lim. 5. Calendrical Problems The three years of ZL 9u–11u correspond to 1765–1763 b.c. according to the middle chronology, or 1701–1699 according to the short chronology, or 1669–1667 according to the ultrashort chronology, which is gaining acceptance these days. 58 As elsewhere in Mesopotamia, the year in Mari was solar and the months were lunar. A lunar month had 29.5 days. It started with the first visibility of the new moon, which implies the start of the day in the evening, and lasted either 29 or 30 full days. 59 The names of several months were connected with the seasons. Thus, 58. H. Gasche, J. A. Armstrong, S. W. Cole, and V. G. Gurzadyan, Dating the Fall of Babylon (Chicago, 1998). 59. Tabulating the administrative records published in 7, 9, 11, 12, 21, 23–25 according to date, I find 4 consecutive months of 30 days, namely: 30 X 1u (23 206), 30 XI 1u (21 226; 21 311), 30 XII 1u (23 140; 22 196; 22 303), and 30 I 2u (11 38). Such a run of true lunar months does not happen. Since months X to I are in the rainy season, it is possible that the first visibility could not be observed and that a 30-day month was assumed. There was a motif: 30-day months were considered lucky and 29-day months unlucky. A denser documentation of dates is necessary to determine how such day-inflation was rectified, or whether an administrative calendar of 30-day months existed, which would not be without precedence (see R. K. Englund, “Administrative Timekeeping in Ancient Mesopotamia,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 31 [1988] 121–85).



the 12th month in Mari was called “Harvest Month.” 60 In order to keep the months from moving throughout the solar year, 354 days of 12 lunar months were synchronized with the 365 days of the solar year by the occasional intercalation of a 13th month. The relation between months and seasons is relevant for historical reconstruction because some of the letters are dated to the month and some passages in the letters refer to seasons. It would greatly facilitate chronological sequencing if seasons and months were in a rigid relationship. Alas, they are not. We can assume that the ancient Mesopotamians knew the solstices and equinoxes. All it took to find them was to observe sunrises from one and the same location, let us say from a particular spot behind an adobe wall enclosing a yard, to wait until the places of sunrise stopped moving to the south, to mark the day by incising a line pointing in the direction of the sunrise, and to count the days until the sun returned to that point. The Mesopotamians, especially those living in the south with its clear skies, were keen observers of the movement of planets, among which they included the sun. They were also much concerned with counting, so it would have been easy for them to find a mathematical standard for synchronizing their lunar months and solar years. Yet intercalation was strangely irregular. In several instances, 13th months were bunched so closely that it seems as if one wanted to restore the months to their proper season after a long period of neglecting intercalation. T. Gomi discussed an example from Umma at the time of the Ur III kingdom and aptly called the phenomenon a case of “embolism,” without, however, finding its explanation. 61 The picture emerging from the tabulation mentioned in n. 62 is strange. Strangest of all is that three intercalary months are attested in year 5u, which would make a year of 442.5 days if the months were strictly lunar and 450 days if they were all 30-day months. Yet, texts dated to intercalary months are so grossly underrepresented, that intercalation does not appear to have been observed by the administration as a whole. I am unable to explain this strange phenomenon. 62

60. Actually, the harvest fell in the 2d and 3d months in Mari, and even in southern Mesopotamia, where one harvested earlier, one did not do so in the 12th month. 61. Gomi, “Embolism in the Umma calendar under Shulgi of the Ur III period,” ASJ 6 (1984), 1–18. 62. # of references intercalary month to corresponding following year # of references nonintercalary month XII XII II III V I V V

2 2u 5u 5u 5u 8u 10u 11u

1 6 6 2 5 1 1 6

3 13 31 24 22 0 1 13


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

While the question of the lengths of months and the practice of intercalation are unresolved, the months of the year agree with the seasons if we assume that the first month began around the spring equinox during the years under consideration in the following reconstruction of events: sheep-shearing took place around the turn of the year, the harvest around the 2d month, and the campaign season extended from the beginning of the year to about the 8th month.

B. Clash between Elam and Babylon 6. Elam In §2, I already pointed out the fact that Elam was in a singular position of power during the Old Babylonian period because it provided the entire Near East with tin. The political history of Elam in this period has recently been treated by F. Vallat. 63 He distinguished three phases in its relationship to Mesopotamia. In the early Old Babylonian period, the kings of southern Mesopotamia continued the pattern of the preceding Ur III period, raiding Elamite territory at times and giving their daughters in marriage to Elamite rulers at other times. A quiet phase followed, and finally Elam started intervening in Mesopotamian affairs and ended up trying to conquer the breadth and width of Mesopotamia, as is documented in the texts translated here. The Elamite ruler who embarked on this adventure was Siwe-Palar-Huppak, pronounced “Seplarpak” in Mari. 64 He was called “king of Ansan,” “great king,” “Grand Vizier of Elam,” “Vizier of Elam,” or simply “The Vizier.” The title “Grand Vizier” harks back to the Ur III period when a “Grand Vizier” ruled the eastern border provinces of the kingdom of Ur that at times included lowland Elam. Technically, he was not a vizier, which, when used of royal administration, corresponds approximately to our minister. The Vizier of Elam was a dynastic ruler, in Mari parlance a “king” (sarrum). There existed another “vizier” in Elam at the time, Kudusulus, called “Vizier of Susa” and also “king of Susa.” There is no information on the relationship between the two viziers other than that the “Grand Vizier” was superior to the “Vizier of Susa.” Vallat suggested that they were brothers. Elamite sources show that Ansan, the capital of highland Elam, and Susim (Susa), the capital of lowland Elam, formed one kingdom. It is confirmed by M.6435+, the draft of a treaty between Zimri-Lim and Hammu-Rabi, where Seplarpak alone is mentioned as representative of a hostile Elam. That Kudusulus was second in command follows also from registrations of gifts from Zimri-Lim for Elam, where Kudusulus is listed after Seplarpak and receives less-valuable gifts. Susim, the residence of Kudusulus, 63. Vallat, “L’Élam a l’époque paléo-babylonienne,” Amurru 1 (1996), 297–319. 64. In M.6435+ the name is written Íiwa-Palar-Huhpak, which is very close to its presumed Elamite pronunciation.

Clash between Elam and Babylon


was closer to Mesopotamia than Ansan, but Seplarpak does not seem to have delegated command of military operations against Mesopotamia to Kudusulus. Seplarpak died at the end of ZL 10u, shortly after the failure of his Mesopotamian venture. Kudusulus is last mentioned in 23 542, which is dated in the fourth month of ZL 9u. His death may be mentioned in 2 121: “4 tablets that the Vizier of Susa {of Elam}, whom they killed, 65 was carrying, which they (then) took in the campaign, those ªtabletsº I opened. . . . There is not any news in them about the issue of territory and land.” The letter contains no chronological clue that would allow more exact dating of the death of Kudusulus. 7. Elam’s Conquest of Esnuna The year-name of ZL 8u is “Zimri-Lim came to the assistance of Elam,” which is an event that must have happened in ZL 7u. While the formation and date of an alliance between Mari and Elam are not documented, the episode of Mari’s assistance may be referred to in a report on the arrival of Mariote troops before The Vizier. The report, 26 255, was sent by the Mariote military commander Ishi-Dagan. He said that he and his troops “drew close to the Esnunakean, met safe and sound with The Vizier and built their camp abreast of the Babylonians.” Another piece of information is contained in 26 362, a report by Yarim-Addu, the Mariote envoy in Babylon, about goings-on at the court of Hammu-Rabi, specifically on the arrival of a message from The Vizier. Yarim-Addu quoted The Vizier as saying to Hammu-Rabi: “I am headed for Larsa. Secure [your] ªregularsº, the troops of the headpad contingent and your servants whom I saw in Esnuna, and they must be ready to meet me. Once a man among the troops whom I saw objects, I will turn on you.” A headpad contingent consisted of troops who moved earth in baskets that they carried on their heads. Earth had to be moved in large quantities on the occasion of the siege of a city, when the besiegers constructed an earthen rampart in order to get over the city wall. In the present context, the Babylonian headpad contingent had assisted The Vizier in a siege of Esnuna. If we connect the clues in 26 362 and 26 255, we arrive at the following scenario: Babylonian and Mariote troops assisted The Vizier in the attempt to conquer the city of Esnuna through a siege. The allies were positioned facing the walls of Esnuna, each in his own camp. The Vizier seized Esnuna during the first 45 days of ZL 9u. The event is documented in M.8806, the small fragment of an administrative text. It registers the expenditure of a “presentation gift” (subultum) for The Vizier “when he seized Esnuna.” Presentation gifts were made by rulers and sent with messengers. According to the format of texts that register the expenditure of such gifts, the location from 65. The verb dâkum means “to kill” or “to beat,” specifically in military encounters. Normally, the context indicates the meaning “to kill” when a single person, or a few persons, are the object and “to beat” when a whole army, or a division, or persons in large numbers are the object. Accordingly, I prefer here the meaning “to kill,” which implies that the letter documents the death of Kudusulus. Durand, in LAPO 16 434, uses the translation “to beat.”


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

which the messengers departed with the gifts was indicated after mentioning the recipient of the gift. In the case of fragment M.8806, the line of text where the name of this location must have appeared is only partly preserved. Dossin, the first editor of the text, did not bother to copy it, but Durand succeeded in deciphering the entry by the mere heads of the wedges. The location turned out to be Halab. ZimriLim stayed there in the 2d month of ZL 9u on his way to the Mediterranean and again in the 4th month of the same year on his way back. 66 On the latter occasion he also sent presentation gifts to Elam. These gifts were different from the ones registered in M.8806, 67 which means that the presentation gifts in M.8806 must have been made in the 2d month of ZL 9u. The news of the seizure of Esnuna had to travel a distance of more than 800 km from Esnuna. If we reckon that couriers made an average of 50 km per day, the information took 16 days to get to Zimri-Lim. The seizure of Esnuna can therefore not have happened later than the middle of the 2d month of ZL 9u. The chronological spacing of Mari’s “coming to the assistance of Elam” in ZL 7u, the arrival of Mariote troops to camp facing the walls of Esnuna (26 255), and The Vizier “seeing” Babylonian troops “in Esnuna,” including a headpad contingent (26 362), is not known. We shall see below that the first Elamite attack on HammuRabi happened in early ZL 9u, according to the logic of the situation immediately after The Vizier seized Esnuna. Unless the Elamite attack was unexpected and unforeseen by Hammu-Rabi, Babylonian troops would have been withdrawn sometime before early ZL 9u. Also, if Mariote troops participated in the seizure of Esnuna at that time, we would expect some allusion to their return to Mari. On the basis of the sparse documentation at hand, I assume that Elam forged an alliance with Babylon and Mari against Esnuna in ZL 7u. The allies besieged Esnuna but were unable to overcome its defenses. As time wore on, Babylonian and Mariote participation in the venture waned, and in the end Elam seized Esnuna on its own. 8. An Elamite Ploy Backfires We return to the contents of Yarim-Addu’s letter 26 362: Hammu-Rabi answered The Vizier’s request for troops to be used against Larsa by saying that he was ready to provide and dispatch them as soon as The Vizier was set to go. The Vizier simultaneously sent a message to Rim-Sin, the king of Larsa, informing him of a plan to march against Babylon and requesting the participation of Larsaite troops. Rim-Sin, who seems to have known what to expect from The Vizier, sent the tablet with the message to Hammu-Rabi, who returned the favor by sending Rim-Sin the tablet he had received. The exchange of letters surely caused merriment in both cities. There was a thaw in relations. Hammu-Rabi sent his minister of foreign affairs,

66. See Villard, “Roi,” 390–91. 67. Compare the second line of M.8806 with line 22 of 23 542 in Villard’s copy in MARI 6, 592.

Clash between Elam and Babylon


Sin-Bel-Aplim, and an unnamed secretary to Larsa. In exchange, Rim-Sin sent a minister to Babylon, and messengers started to shuttle between the two kingdoms. Sometime later, when the return of Hammu-Rabi’s envoys was expected, YarimAddu wrote 26 367. He reported that the envoys had not yet returned but that Rim-Sin had sent a message to Hammu-Rabi, assuring him that his troops and small-boats were ready to come to his assistance if the Elamites moved against him. In exchange, he requested the same of Hammu-Rabi. Hammu-Rabi’s answer to The Vizier and Rim-Sin’s answer to Hammu-Rabi share the stamp of diplomacy as it is still practiced: positive but conditional, with the unspoken intention of evading action if the condition is fulfilled. 9. Elamite Moves from Esnuna In 14 124, Yaqqim-Addu, governor of the province of Saggaratum, writing from Hanat in upper Suhum on his way to Babylon, relayed the news that the Elamites had divided their forces, one group marching north to Ekallatum, the other [marching] 68 south to Babylon. Yaqqim-Addu did not say where this happened but geographical logic points to Esnuna or the Tigris crossing at Mankisum, where the roads to Babylon and Ekallatum diverged. He did mention something about Larsa, but what he said is not preserved. Larsa played a pivotal role in the relationship between Babylon and Elam, even if it did nothing, and Zimri-Lim would have been keenly interested in its stance at a moment when Elamite troops [were marching] toward Babylon. If Larsa and Elam cooperated, they might just be able to overpower Hammu-Rabi. It is very unfortunate that a break in the text prevents us from learning what Larsa did at this moment. Just about three signs are lost in the break, and it is clear that the break covers all that Yaqqim-Addu said about Larsa. It cannot have been more than the predicate of a short clause in the form “The Larsaite [did/ was].” Birot, the first editor of the letter, did not speculate on the missing predicate; Durand guessed, “un homme de Larsa [la (i.e., the half of the troops marching on Babylon) conduit].” In view of the thaw of relations between Babylon and Larsa documented in 26 362 and Larsa’s hesitation to throw its support to Babylon documented in 26 367, I believe that Larsa did not act for or against Elam or Babylon, and I conjecture “The Larsaite [stood aside].” Yaqqim-Addu was not overly concerned about the event, which is understandable because the Elamites did not march toward Mari territory, something they might have done by heading due west toward Suhum. He promised the king to write again from Sippir, where he expected to obtain further news. He could have been more proactive and sent someone across the Tharthar depression to check on the progress of the Elamite troops marching north, but he did not do so. On his way to

68. The context makes this restoration quite certain. The restoration is important for the reconstruction of events, and by keeping the brackets here and in similar cases, I want to alert the reader to the fact that it is, after all, a restoration.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

or from Sippir he also found time to witness a river ordeal in Id, on which he reports in 26 254. 69 There is no word on Elamite troop movement in that report. 10. Events around Upi The Elamite [march] toward Babylon did not get very far. Yarim-Addu wrote in 26 366 that the Elamites had laid siege to the city of Upi and were in the process of piling up an earthen rampart against the city wall, and that the Babylonians were preparing countermoves. Upi, or Yupi as it is spelled in Yarim-Addu’s letters, was located on the east bank of the Tigris, not far downstream from the present confluence of the Diyala and Tigris. 70 The alluvium of the Diyala defined the natural extent of the territory of the kingdom of Esnuna, and Upi on the east bank of the Tigris naturally belonged to Esnuna, as it did politically during the reign of SamsiAdad. 71 Now Babylonians occupied it and therewith possessed a bridgehead that gave them access to the land of Esnuna. For the Elamites, gaining possession of it amounted to completing the conquest of Esnuna; but because it was across the river from Babylonian territory, Upi was also a potential threat to Babylon if it was occupied by an enemy. In reaction to the Elamite siege, Hammu-Rabi’s “conscripts, field men and rescue formations linked up” and were ready to take on the Elamite shock troops. Yarim-Addu’s terse formulation leaves us wondering how to connect the Elamite and Babylonian moves. The “linking up” of various Babylonian troop contingents can hardly refer to the Babylonians inside the besieged city. More likely, the “linking up” of different formations was in preparation for an expected field encounter. It would have to be fought on one side of the Tigris, which required the Elamites to cross to the west bank or the Babylonians to the left bank. With the bridgehead Upi under siege, the left bank was presumably occupied by Elamite troops and the right bank by Babylonian troops. It was springtime and the Tigris was running high. Large numbers of boats were required to ferry the troops. Unfortunately, there are no sources to tell us what The Vizier and Hammu-Rabi and their generals planned to do or what they did do in the end. Yarim-Addu further reported that 1,000 Mutiabalean troops had arrived in Babylon. 72 In the early Old Babylonian period, the Mutiabaleans of Kasalluk were 69. The connection between 14 124 and 26 254 was suggested by Joannès according to Durand’s n. to 26 254. 70. This was recognized by E. Weidner and A. Goetze (see the references in RGTC 3) and confirmed by Charpin in 26/2, 150 n. 68, on the basis of an unpublished text. 71. According to 4 26. See Charpin, 26/2, 150. Upi may have been only one of “the cities of Esnuna” that Hammu-Rabi held and whose ceding The Vizier demanded according to a passage from the unpublished letter A.3618, communicated by Charpin and Durand in “Suzeraineté,” 63 n. 24. 72. Charpin, in 26/2, 152 n. 76, suggested that the Mutiabalean troops were the ones who decided to stay loyal to Hammu-Rabi in the conflict brought about by a Mutiabalean prisoner of

Clash between Elam and Babylon


independent and fought with the kingdoms of Larsa and Babylon. 73 Around 1800, they still had their own king. 74 In ZL 9u, they were subjects of Babylon. The situation was unchanged when Yarim-Addu wrote 26 363. He reported that the Elamites had established a camp by 75 Upi. Hammu-Rabi’s war preparations were in full swing. A general mobilization was proclaimed. All males were drafted. The king even ordered the release of slaves, which would allow him to draft them too. On the diplomatic front, the Elamite messengers in Babylon were incarcerated. The envoys who had been sent to Larsa were still not back, and messengers were sent daily to reiterate the request for troops. Larsa did not live up to its promise of providing troops at a time of acute danger to Babylon. Elam may have succeeded after all in exploiting the rivalry between Larsa and Babylon, and Larsa’s wish to have a weak Babylon as neighbor may have been greater than its fear of Elam. It is also possible that Elamite troops occupied Larsaite territory and were in a position to interdict Larsaite assistance to Babylon. A letter from the end of ZL 10u alludes to some unspecified time in the past when “the claw of Elam was torn from the land of Larsa” by the great gods (26 385). In 26 369, Yarim-Addu reported that the Babylonian troops evacuated Upi and left by boat. Elamite troops [ ] and left a garrison there, returning to Esnuna. The Babylonian buildup continued, augmented by the first contingent of Mariote allied troops arriving in northern Babylonia. 11. A Battle with the Elamites and the Sack of Kasalluk Eventually there was a battle between the Elamites and the Babylonians. It is not directly documented but is implied by the story of Mutiabalean deserters. As mentioned, Yarim-Addu reported in 26 366 that 1,000 Mutiabalean troops came to Babylon at the time of the Elamite siege of Upi. He mentioned them again in 26 368. They had run away from a battle and fled to Larsa. Yarim-Addu does not mention Babylon’s antagonist in the battle, but it can only have been Elam. It was presumably during this battle that a Mutiabalean commander was taken prisoner by the Elamites. The episode will be treated in detail below. Yarim-Addu reported further that the Babylonian envoys who had been sent to Rim-Sin were finally back. They returned from Maskan-Sapir, the second-ranking city in the land of Larsa. It was located in the northern part of the kingdom, due east of Babylon and south of Esnuna, and closer to the theater of events than the city of Larsa. The envoys came

war in Elam. I believe that the battle in which the latter was made prisoner took place later. See the next section. 73. See D. O. Edzard, Die “Zweite Zwischenzeit” Babyloniens (1957), 126–27. 74. Daganma-El. See W. F. Leemans, “The Asiru,” RA 55 (1961), 72. 75. The preposition is ina. The standard translation “in” cannot apply here because the Elamites were not yet in the city.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

without Larsaite troops and with a message in which Rim-Sin explained that troops were not sent because Elamites were not headed for Babylonia. The assertion may have been correct, because the conquest of Upi by the Elamites was a matter of completing the conquest of the territory of Esnuna and, at least formally, not an attack on territory of Babylon. The locality of the Elamite-Babylonian battle is unknown. If Rim-Sin was correct, it must have been fought ouside Babylonian territory. A positive sign of Larsa’s intentions of continuing serious relations with Babylon was the high rank of its envoys accompanying the returning Babylonian messengers from Maskan-Sapir. Yarim-Addu also reported on the treatment of Elamite messengers in Babylon. During the period between the Babylonian withdrawal from Upi and the ElamiteBabylonian battle, they had been “in fetters” (26 363), which means that Babylon considered itself at war with Elam. The messengers must have been freed later, because they were put under detention again, this time in a warehouse, and their dinner allowance was cut back. In 26 370, Yarim-Addu gave further details of this latest twist of their fate in Babylon. They had staged a demonstration at the gate of the palace, shouting, ripping their clothes, and complaining about the fact that they had not been received by Hammu-Rabi, despite the “good words” they were bringing. The Babylonian minister of foreigners delegated the matter to lower-ranking officials, who came out and declared that The Vizier of Elam had violated the oath of the gods. Thereupon, the messengers were marched to the warehouse of a Babylonian official. Still in 26 370, Yarim-Addu reported that an Esnunakean had escaped Elamite occupation and fled to Babylon, and that after his arrival Esnunakean messengers and troops imprisoned in Babylon were released and allowed freedom of movement within the city. These Esnunakean messengers must have been in prison since the war between Babylon and Esnuna, when Babylon was allied with Mari and Elam against Esnuna. The Esnunakean troops may have been captured at that time, or later, when Esnunakean troops fought under Elamite command. Yarim-Addu referred to the coming of the Esnunakean in one context as having fled and in another as having been sent. Since Esnuna was under Elamite occupation, an Esnunakean coming to Babylon would be a fugitive or a spy. If he was “sent,” but not a spy, there must have been a group of Esnunakeans who worked against Elamite occupation within Esnuna. In 26 365, Yarim-Addu reported on a Mutiabalean staff commander in the Babylonian army who was captured “[last] ªmonthº” by the Elamites. The occasion was probably the battle with Elamite troops in which other Mutiabaleans ran away and crossed the border into Larsa. The captured staff commander told The Vizier that the Mutiabaleans had been waiting for a chance to revolt against Babylon and offered to instigate such a revolt in exchange for his freedom. The Vizier took the chance and gave him a message for the headmen of Kasalluk. The staff commander was released, returned to Babylon, where he must have fabricated some story to ex-

spread is 12 points short

Clash between Elam and Babylon


plain his release from captivity, went home to Kasalluk, and delivered the message of The Vizier. The headmen of the city answered the message without consulting Hammu-Rabi, which amounted to treason. Hammu-Rabi heard of it, summoned the headmen and ordered them to send [cattle], grain, straw, and children to Babylon, while they could stay behind with their sheep. 76 The headmen promised to make the necessary arrangements. Hammu-Rabi sent 6,000 men and boats to effect the transport to Babylon, a considerable number, which gives some indication of the population size of Kasalluk. At this point, a message from The Vizier arrived in Kasalluk. The Mutiabaleans turned against Hammu-Rabi “like one man” and killed the Babylonians whom they could catch. Hammu-Rabi answered by sending in the army. The entire force of Mutiabaleans came out to defend themselves. They were roundly defeated. According to text fragment 26 365-bis, Hammu-Rabi “tore down and burnt their [houses].” 12. Chronological Considerations Text fragment 26 356-bis provides a link with events in the north and therewith a clue for the timing of the battle of Kasalluk. Yarim-Addu referred to ZimriLim’s journey to the west and the siege of Razama. This much is readable: “[ ] of my lord ªtoº the land of Yamhad [ ] Razama and the land of ªSubartumº.” This means that the contest around Upi and the Mutiabalean revolt happened in early ZL 9u. The failed Elamite ploy to play Babylon against Larsa must reach back to ZL 8u, because it resulted in the thaw in relations between Babylon and Larsa that had already happened when the Elamites captured Upi. Most likely, The Vizier sent the parallel letters in the winter of ZL 8u, when he was preparing the spring campaign of ZL 9u. There is an interesting piece of information in 26 364. Yarim-Addu sent this letter not long after the Elamite capture of Upi and before the Mutiabalean revolt, that is, in early, probably very early, ZL 9u. Yarim-Addu, speaking about the general situation of the kingdom of Babylon in the face of a possible Elamite attack, mentioned that the population of the countryside of the kingdom did not flee to the capital Babylon “[like] last year.” What happened to Babylon “last year,” that is, in ZL 8u? Was there already a confrontation between Elam and Babylon? Was it then that Babylon attacked erstwhile Esnunakean territory and ended up occupying several cities, including Upi?

76. Hammu-Rabi’s plan is hard to understand. Durand believes it was a ruse that consisted of “offrir généreusement de mettre à l’abri à Babylone les réserves de grain et de fourrage ainsi que la jeunesse de Kazallu pour, en fait, s’en servir comme ôtages et empêcher d’agir les traîtres.” I see it as an openly insulting order. The Mutiabaleans were ordered to give up that on which their sedentary life and their future was based. They were allowed to keep their sheep, which would reduce them to a childless band of pasturalists.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

C. Events in the North 13. Attempted Coup-d’État in Ekallatum As mentioned, Yarim-Addu reported in 26 370 on the demonstration of Elamite messengers in front of the palace in Babylon and the arrival of a fugitive from Esnuna. He also told news about dramatic events in Ekallatum. Its king, IsmeDagan, was in Babylon at the time. He was gravely ill. His son Mut-Askur replaced him in Ekallatum. Information reached Babylon that a certain Hammutar had “tied up” Mut-Askur. It happened in connection with a sworn agreement between a party of Ekallateans and Atamrum, king of Allahad. Yarim-Addu’s report is extremely terse and leaves us guessing: Charpin believes that the plot was to replace the father with the son, which was followed by Hammutar’s action. 77 I believe that Atamrum and the party of Ekallateans had plotted to overthrow Isme-Dagan’s rule at the opportune moment, when Isme-Dagan was in Babylon because of his illness, and that Hammutar was to be the new king in Ekallatum. When Isme-Dagan heard the news, he had himself carried “into the palace,” which was Hammu-Rabi’s palace in Babylon. He surely came to request help from Hammu-Rabi. The next day something was done with luxury furniture, weapons, textiles, and slaves. In 26 371, Yarim-Addu reported on incidents that shed light on the continuation of Isme-Dagan’s troubles. Isme-Dagan went in person to The Vizier, who may have been in Esnuna at the time, bringing with him precious gifts, including “grain and stores” that were taken from the treasury of Marduk, the principal in Babylon. He did not continue on to Ekallatum, as was expected in Babylon, but returned to Babylon, still gravely ill. These facts can be extracted from Yarim-Addu’s rendering of the public pronouncements of a prophet of Marduk who was incensed at having seen the belongings of his divine lord diminished. He predicted that Isme-Dagan would lose all future support of Marduk and that the god would not allow him to get away with it, pursuing him even beyond the borders of Babylon. The reaction of the citizens to these outbursts was silence. They may have sympathized with the gravely ill king and been embarrassed by the hawkish priest. If we identify the treasure listed in 26 370 78 with the treasure of Marduk in 26 371, we arrive at the following scenario: Atamrum intended to put a man on the throne in Ekallatum who would in effect be his vassal. This was Hammutar. Atamrum was allied with Elam at the time and was in effect a vassal of Elam. Isme-Dagan requested valuable goods from Hammu-Rabi to present to The Vizier as a reward for carrying out an Elamite order to Atamrum to remove Hammutar.

77. See 26/2, 155. 78. Charpin, in the introduction to his edition of the text, suggested that the valuables were a ransom for Mut-Askur.

Events in the North


14. Death of Qarni-Lim and Prelude to the Siege of Razama The resolution of the coup-d’état in Ekallatum probably strengthened Elam’s influence in the north. Three events happened there in short sequence during the spring of ZL 9u that furthered its position dramatically. Qarni-Lim, king of Andarig, was killed; Atamrum led Elamite and Esnunakean troops against Sarraya, king of Razama of Yussan, and laid siege to Razama, an action that was probably negotiated with Elam, when Elam forced Atamrum to abandon his plans for Ekallatum; an Elamite commander, Kunnam, entered Subat-Enlil with numerous troops. QarniLim of Andarig had been and Sarraya of Razama was an ally of Zimri-Lim, and their territories shielded the Northern Plains from possible encroaches by Ekallatum, Esnuna, or Elam. Subat-Enlil was the “fortress in the midst of the land” from which the plains could be ruled. When the cleaned grain was collected and brought in to be stored, that is, in May or June, Bahdi-Lim, writing from Mari, sent a report in 6 37 to Zimri-Lim, who was on his journey to the Mediterranean, about a headless body and the head that was severed from it. Charpin recognized that the body and head were the remains of Qarni-Lim. 79 At the time of Bahdi-Lim’s letter, the governors of Qa††unan and Saggaratum were under strict orders to search for the body, but they had not found it. There was a rumor that “they buried his body in (his) clothes and left it to the Habur,” in other words that it was dumped into the river. The head was in Qa††unan. Bahdi-Lim asked his king where and how it should be buried. The household goods of Qarni-Lim had been brought from Qa††unan and Saggaratum to Terqa. The specific circumstances of Qarni-Lim’s death are unknown. Haya-Sumu, the king of Ilan-Íura, expressed his belief that he died because Zimri-Lim was unable or unwilling to save him (26 305). The official version in Mari was that a god “called him to account” for his refusal to give troops to Zimri-Lim when requested. It is documented in A.2730, a letter from the pasture-chief Ibal-El to Zimri-Lim. Ibal-El also commented in that letter on a message that Atamrum had sent ZimriLim, requesting troops for the siege of Razama. Ibal-El told the king what he wanted him to answer: that Zimri-Lim and the king of Razama were blood-brothers and that he was bound by an oath to him; that unlike Qarni-Lim, Sarraya had not refused to provide troops when he needed them. If Atamrum would lay siege to another city, he would send him troops, but not for the siege of Razama. Ibal-El referred to the triple-alliance between Zimri-Lim, Sarraya, and Qarni-Lim, which dated from ZL 5u. 80

79. Charpin, NABU 1994 59. 80. I assume that Qarni-Lim’s visit to Mari in ZL 5u followed the conclusion of the alliance. At that time, Sarraya, who was supposed to join him, could not come. One year later, Zimri-Lim urged both to come to Mari, and this time Sarraya came, but Qarni-Lim stayed. See 27 72, 72bis; 2 78; 27 127; 9 149 (16 IX 6u).


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Atamrum’s demand is astonishing; Charpin calls it audacious. Atamrum cannot have been ignorant of the alliance between Zimri-Lim and Sarraya. He was a client of Elam at the time, and his request resembles the crude and seemingly unintelligent Elamite ploy of sending simultaneous messages to Babylon and Larsa demanding troops from each for action against the other. Another Elamite diplomatic blunder may belong to the same period of war preparations: The Mariote representative in Kurda quoted a message from The Vizier to Hammu-Rabi of Kurda in A.6, warning him against contacts with Mari and Babylon and ordering him to subordinate himself to Atamrum, who had “accepted him as son.” Given what we know about the position of Kurda at the time, The Vizier’s order must have been an insult to the king of Kurda. In the light of such actions, Atamrum’s troop request from Mari for action against an ally of Mari looks as if it was done on order of The Vizier. The timing of Atamrum’s message cannot be ascertained. Charpin is sure that it was sent sometime after Atamrum laid siege to Razama. 81 It could also have been written in anticipation of the siege. Perhaps Atamrum wanted to test Zimri-Lim’s resolve. If Zimri-Lim wrote him what Ibal-El wanted him to write, Atamrum might well have concluded that no decisive action against him was to be expected. 15. First Phase of the Siege of Razama Zimri-Addu, the governor of Qa††unan, wrote in 27 132 that Atamrum was besieging the city of Razama. He had gained access to the lower town, there was constant fighting, and the outcome was uncertain. Zimri-Addu held out the possibility that all of Idamaraß would go over to Elam if Razama could not withstand the assault. Ibal-Pi-El, Zimri-Lim’s chief of staff, vowed to “evict or burn” Atamrum. The letter also mentions a battering ram. 82 Bahdi-Lim wrote in 6 65 about new developments in the siege of Razama: Sarraya had staged a sortie and had beaten 500 troops. BahdiLim also mentioned leather workers and battering-ram makers, but the action regarding them is broken. Texts 27 132 and 6 65 also reported on the progress of the household goods of Qarni-Lim. Zimri-Addu reported from Qa††unan in 27 132: “about the belongings of Qarni-Lim—ªa tabletº of Bahdi-Lim ªcame, andº [I] ªplacedº escorts for his sons, his maids, the courtiers and the donkeys, and they will bring them safely to Saggaratum!” Bahdi-Lim reported from Mari in 6 65, “And the household goods of Qarni-Lim, [his] ªwives, hisº children and the donkeys, who [ ] to Saggaratum [ ] with the donkeys and the household goods [ ] in Saggaratum [ ].” The preserved part of 6 65 suggests that the belongings of Qarni-Lim had arrived in Saggaratum. Report 27 132 is therefore the first known report on the siege of Razama. In 6 65 Bahdi-Lim actually refers to an earlier report on Razama. Chances are that it was based on information received from Zimri-Addu in Qa††unan. I reconstruct the initial phase of the siege as follows: A force of Elamites and Esnunakeans led by Atamrum appeared before the walls of Razama and immediately 81. See 26/2, 32–33. 82. Birot believed that Ibal-Pi-El vowed to “bring out and burn” the battering ram.

Events in the North


gained access to the wall of the lower city. This is described in the sentence, “He (Atamrum) is astride ªthe lowerº city.” The Razameans fought back, but the outcome was unclear. Ibal-Pi-El, hurrying to assist the Razameans, stopped over in Qa††unan, where he added troops of the governor to his force and picked up a battering ram. He expected Atamrum to have gained access to the city by the time of his arrival and vowed to evict him, or, if that was not possible, to burn him with the city. Letter 27 132 was written at this point. A few days, or one day, or even hours, after the information left the scene, the Razameans made a sortie and beat the besiegers, then numbering about 500. They also seem to have succeeded in [capturing] leather workers and battering-ram experts. Ibal-Pi-El, having learned of the Razamean victory, did not continue on to Razama. At this point the information reported in 6 65 left the scene. 16. Continuation of the Siege of Razama In 3 17, Kibri-Dagan, the governor of Terqa reported that the household goods of Qarni-Lim had arrived in Terqa. Bahdi-Lim gave the same information in 6 37 and added news on Razama. Three men had escaped from the Esnunakean troops facing Razama and provided eye-witness reports. What they told is broken, but we know their story from 14 104+, a letter from Yaqqim-Addu, the governor of Saggaratum. It tells about the beginning of the siege and its continuation beyond the state of affairs reflected in 6 65. The beginning of the siege according to 14 104+ differs: As soon as the Elamite and Esnunakean troops arrived before the walls of Razama, the Razameans made a sortie, “and they beat the 700 Elamites and 600 Esnunakeans.” The initial success of Atamrum was not mentioned, probably because it had been eclipsed by the subsequent spectacular success of the defenders. The number of defeated besiegers had become 1,300, almost 3 times the original 500. Perhaps the numbers grew in the telling of the story, or the 3 men totaled the number of enemies beaten in several sorties, or 500 were actively involved in the fighting and the 1,300 constituted the entire force of besiegers. After defeating “1,300” troops, the Razameans “took a break for ten days, and then the elders came out to Atamrum and told him the following: They (said) ‘we are for making peace. The (besieging) troops must withdraw one half mile ªfromº their camp, and I shall supply silver.’ ” The condition of withdrawal by the besieging forces for one-half a mile, which equals 5.5 km, would have removed the besiegers from access to the city wall, but why was one-half mile specified? As is reported later on in the letter, the besieging troops complained about having to bring water from half a mile’s distance to the camp. Perhaps the inhabitants of Razama needed access to this source of water. It is also possible that it would have allowed the Razameans to bring in their grain. The siege began when grain was stored in Mari. In Razama, which is farther north, they harvested two weeks or so later, so their harvest may not yet have been in at the time. 83 83. I owe this explanation to a suggestion by my student S. Liebhaber.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Another letter from the governor of Saggaratum, 14 103, provides further information on the events at this point. 84 Zimri-Lim had sent his messenger Yawi-Addu to Atamrum, ordering him to quit the siege of Razama. On his return, Yawi-Addu stopped in Saggaratum and reported to the governor. He had learned of a message sent by Atamrum to The Vizier: “I put a chokehold on the city. Write me if you want me to quit, and I shall receive the tribute of the city [and] quit. Otherwise [I shall take down] the city.” Atamrum’s chokehold was obviously what motivated the elders of Razama to make the peace treaty conditional on moving one-half mile away from the city, and their offer “to supply silver” was an offer of tribute. As the governor reported in 14 104+, Atamrum decided to spurn the offer of the elders and to continue the siege, probably after having been instructed to do so by The Vizier. He answered the elders of the city that he supposed they were attempting to deceive him, asked why they and not their king Sarraya had made the peace offer, and gave them sarcastic advice to strengthen their city and fight. They retorted that the city belonged to Zimri-Lim, that Zimri-Lim had gone away with his army, and, repaying sarcasm with sarcasm, that Atamrum might as well wait for his arrival. Besiegers and defenders continued their struggle. The defenders kept making sorties and beating Esnunakean troops; 85 the besiegers started constructing an earthen ramp against the wall. The defenders, judging the defense of the threatened section of the wall a hopeless undertaking, built a wall inside the city around that section. In the night after the ramp had reached the parapet and the besiegers were in a position to storm the wall the next day, the defenders entered the space between the threatened section of the city wall and the newly constructed wall inside. They pierced two holes in the city wall, right and left of the edge of the ramp, and used them for a sortie in the early morning, surprising the attackers, and capturing half of their number. 86 Time went by, and the hope that Zimri-Lim would come to the rescue was growing in Razama, while apprehension was growing in the camp of the besiegers. Atamrum armed 30 strangers and instructed them to go before the city wall and masquerade as soldiers of Zimri-Lim. They did, but it did not fool the inhabitants: “You (Atamrum) equipped cheats, and you let them approach. Yes, in 5 days, the troops who are with Zimri-Lim will arrive for you. You will see.” The besiegers took extra precautions: they were awakened twice during the night. They were also concerned about being killed while fetching water. At that point, the 3 men managed to run away from camp and make their way to Mariote territory, and their story reached Yaqqim-Addu in Saggaratum.

84. Charpin, 26/2, 33–34, dates the letter to the time after Zimri-Lim’s departure for Razama at the end of month V. 85. Elamite troops are not mentioned anymore. Had they left? 86. Durand judges this interpretation, which I proposed in NABU 1996 102, to be unrealistic. The attack and defense of city walls has challenged ingenuity for many millennia. The best solutions were those that were judged unrealistic before they succeeded.

Events in the North


17. Chronology of the Continuation of the Siege The span of time from the arrival of the Elamites and Esnunakeans to camp in front of the walls of Razama to the time when the 3 men left the camp cannot be accurately gauged on the basis of their story. Here is a minimalist model: 2 days for the initial assault, 10 for the interruption of hostilities at which time Atamrum wrote to The Vizier and received a reply, 10 for constructing the ramp, 2 for the failed ruse and the deterioration of mood in the camp, four days for the 3 men and their story to reach Qa††unan—that is, 28 days. Letter 14 104+ was sent on the 27th of the 3d month. Accordingly, the siege would have begun right at the beginning of the 3d month. A minimalist model agrees well with the fact that the cleaned barley was being stored in Mari at the beginning of the siege of Razama (6 37 and 65). It is interesting to note that the imminent arrival of Zimri-Lim was expected in Razama at the point when he actually began his return trip from Ugarit, 500 km to the west. This follows from 25 134, which registers a gift to a Razamean on 5 IV 9u in Hazazar, a place somewhere between Ugarit on the Mediterranean coast and Halab. The text implies that Zimri-Lim was in Hazazar at this date, because the message from Razama must have been of the utmost urgency, and the messenger would have gone straight to the king. He may have received his gift after a rest of a day or two. Given the urgency of Zimri-Lim’s reply, he would not have lingered. He would have been back in Razama about 10 days later with the message that ZimriLim would reach Razama a few days after him, which would correspond to about 20 days after his arrival was expected. While it is understandable that the Razameans were cut off from information (the Razamean messenger may have been the first to make it through enemy lines), it is astonishing that Atamrum did not estimate Zimri-Lim’s actual arrival time more accurately. The information should have been of vital importance to him. The same chronological miscalculation can be detected in 14 103. Yaqqim-Addu reported at the end of that letter that he did not dispatch messengers coming from Atamrum directly to Zimri-Lim, saying, “I spoke to them [as follows]: I (said) ‘the king will arrive within 3 days. ªThe kingº goes on the other side (of the river), and he marches [ ].’ ” Letter 14 103 was written before the end of the 3d month, when Zimri-Lim was still in Ugarit. Yaqqim-Addu’s information on the whereabouts of Zimri-Lim was grossly wrong, or he knew better and gave the messengers grossly wrong information. 18. Askur-Addu’s Entrance into Subat-Enlil Subat-Enlil belonged to Andarig during the reign of Qarni-Lim. 87 What happened to the city after his death is not known. Zimri-Addu reported from Qa††unan in 27 133 that Askur-Addu left the camp at Razama with 4,000 troops at the time of one of Razama’s successful sorties and entered Subat-Enlil. According to 27 134, 87. See P. Akkermans et al., NABU 1991 99, who cautiously suggest that Qarni-Lim may have exerted direct or indirect control of the city.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Askur-Addu traveled from Subat-Enlil to Urgis with 2,000 troops. Nothing is said about the other 2,000 troops. They may have been left as garrison in Subat-Enlil. Five hundred Esnunakean troops entered Tilla at the same time. These events must have happened before Kunnam’s entrance into Subat-Enlil. 88 Since they were contemporaneous with the siege of Razama, they can also be placed after the time when the cleaned grain was brought into storage in Mari, which was done according to 6 65, during the initial phase of the siege. Harvesting normally lasted into the 2d month; 89 storage of the cleaned grain could therefore not have been much earlier than the 3d month. Kunnam is positively attested in Subat-Enlil in 10 IV. It follows that Askur-Addu’s entrance preceded Kunnam’s entrance by very little time. The fact that Askur-Addu lead 4,000 troops from the camp at Razama implies that he was ultimately under orders of The Vizier and immediately under those of Atamrum. Askur-Addu’s entrance into Subat-Enlil thus paved the way for Kunnam. His march to Urgis and the entrance of Esnunakean troops into Tilla suggest a concerted, Elamite-inspired action to gain control of Idamaraß. 19. Kunnam’s Entrance into Subat-Enlil Yamßum reported in 26 323, “when Kunnam entered Subat-Enlil there were no doubt many troops with him. And the entire land was stirred up.” It happened shortly after Askur-Addu’s entrance, at some point during the siege of Razama and before 10 IV, at which point Kunnam’s presence in Subat-Enlil is positively attested by the contents and the date of 26 311. Twelve or thirteen days earlier YaqqimAddu’s letter 14 104+ was sent off. It includes a passage demonstrating that SubatEnlil was already under Elamite control: “And according to what I ªwrote myº lord some time ago about Subat-Enlil, the city Subat-Enlil has not been seized. [They do] not [allow] ªthe manº [of ] to enter inside the city (saying) ‘the city is a city of The Vizier. No [troops] will enter.’ ” Charpin took this to mean that Kunnam was in charge of the city. 90 If so, he had just entered. But since “there were no doubt many troops with him” when he entered, it seems unlikely that anyone would have demanded entry right then. I understand the absence of any mention of Kunnam’s entry into the city as indication that it had not yet happened when Yaqqim-Addu sent 14 104+ on 27 III. The news would have traveled about three days from the area of Subat-Enlil to Saggaratum, so Kunnam’s entrance happened between 25 III and 10 IV. Considerations in §23 (below) lead to a narrowing of this window of time to between 25 III and 7 IV. 91 88. Kunnam left Subat-Enlil later in ZL 9u, but by that time Zimri-Addu had left Qa††unan. When he wrote 27 134, he was still governor in Qa††unan. 89. See for example, 27 34. Harvest is attested for all of the first three months of the year; see Charpin, “Les archives d’époque ‘assyrienne’ dans la palais de Mari,” MARI 4 (1985), 246. 90. See 26/2, 36. 91. I am not entirely convinced by my interpretation of the passage in 14 104+, because the phrase “has not been seized” is in conflict with the fact that Askur-Addu had entered it with

Events in the North


From Ilan-Íura Haya-Sumu communicated his reaction to the appearance of Elamite and Esnunakean troops to Bahdi-Lim, and Bahdi-Lim relayed it to ZimriLim in 6 66. Haya-Sumu said that the troops had “come up to the interior of Idamaraß,” and that there was nobody who could do anything about it. If Zimri-Lim did not return from his journey, Idamaraß would be lost. Durand believes that HayaSumu was referring to Atamrum’s march on Razama, but Haya-Sumu’s statement “the troops came up to the interior of Idamaraß” makes that unlikely, because Razama was not in Idamaraß. Haya-Sumu may have been referring to the movements of Askur-Addu, but his 4,000 troops could hardly have been a force nobody could oppose, so the coming up of Kunnam was probably meant. The fact that Haya-Sumu did not mention Kunnam and Subat-Enlil indicates that he did not yet know who led the troops and where they were headed. Very shortly thereafter, Yamßum reported about Kunnam’s entrance into SubatEnlil in 26 323. He reacted by ordering the Mariote troops on the walls, a reasonable precaution given the closeness of Subat-Enlil to Ilan-Íura. When his herald relayed the order to the troops, Ustasni-El, the second-in-command of the Mariote garrison, refused to obey, saying, “his troops would not go up on the wall.” 92 A day later, Yamßum, distraught about the insubordination at this critical moment, informed Haya-Sumu. Unexpectedly, the latter was unconcerned and appeared rather nonchalant in the face of a possible Elamite move against Ilan-Íura. 20. Haya-Sumu’s Submission to Elam In his letter to Bahdi-Lim, Haya-Sumu expressed his conviction that nobody could save Idamaraß in the absence of Zimri-Lim. It is therefore not surprising that Haya-Sumu decided to submit to Kunnam. Submission meant rupture with Mari, so Yamßum, as Mari’s representative in Ilan-Íura, was probably the last person whom Haya-Sumu informed. Letter 26 326 fits well into the period when Haya-Sumu would have been negotiating his submission to Kunnam, shielding all information from Yamßum. Yamßum could see the Elamites coming and going, but “did not hear their words.” He sent out word to capture Elamites, managed to get hold of two of them without Haya-Sumu’s knowledge, and sent them to Zimri-Lim without saying what he had learned from them. They may have spoken only Elamite, and he may not have had an interpreter. Eventually, Haya-Sumu informed Yamßum of his decision to submit to Kunnam, and Yamßum reported on his attempts to reverse the decision in 26 303. He pointed out that two of Haya-Sumu’s enemies stayed with Kunnam and would surely “waste” him. One of these was an otherwise unknown person by the name of Addi-Addu; the other was Isme-Addu, alias Yasim-Addu, king of Asnakkum. This city had long

thousands of troops. Perhaps the Esnunakean garrison had already been challenged before, and Yaqqim-Addu was referring to a second attempt to enter the city by “the man of [ ].” 92. The affair of the insubordination is discussed in §24 below.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

competed with Ilan-Íura for leadership among the kings and kinglets of Idamaraß. So Haya-Sumu must have been concerned about his rival’s gaining an edge with Kunnam’s help. The day after Yamßum’s attempt to dissuade Haya-Sumu from going to SubatEnlil, Ulluri, a roving envoy of Zimri-Lim, made another attempt. Ulluri had come with a message from Zimri-Lim for Haya-Sumu. It must have contained exhortations to stay loyal to Mari and resist Elam. Haya-Sumu reacted with sarcasm: Mari would save him as it had saved Sub-Ram and Sammetar. Ulluri replied with the accusation that it was Haya-Sumu who had “destroyed” them. Sammetar was the predecessor of Isme-Addu on the throne of Asnakkum. Haya-Sumu’s remark implies that he was removed by the Elamites and replaced with Isme-Addu. According to a passage in A.3194, 93 Sammetar was delivered to the Elamites “wrapped in skin.” The concrete reason for Ulluri’s accusation that Haya-Sumu “destroyed” Sammetar is not known. But relations between the two men were bad enough that either could be suspected of having used any occasion to hurt the other. 94 Sub-Ram, the other king singled out by Haya-Sumu as an example of the failure of Zimri-Lim as protector, was probably the king of Susa. According to A.3194, his household and his belongings were confiscated by a commoner. Susa entered litigation with Ilan-Íura about ownership of territory and finally resorted to a river ordeal about it (26 249). Against the background of such relations between the cities, Ulluri’s accusation about Haya-Sumu’s responsibility for what happened to Sub-Ram is clearly conceivable. After reporting Haya-Sumu’s sarcastic remark and Ulluri’s accusatory answer, Yamßum continued at length, in a rambling style, citing what he had told HayaSumu: that he, Haya-Sumu, had been unjust in refusing to admit his own responsibility for the fate of Sub-Ram and Sammetar; that he was short-sighted in underestimating the power of Zimri-Lim; that he ought to be grateful to Zimri-Lim who gave him two of his daughters for wives; that his present behavior was an insult to Zimri-Lim. Ulluri’s rebuff and Yamßum’s reproaches averted the worst. Haya-Sumu did not go to Subat-Enlil to submit to Haya-Sumu. But it was a small compromise. He sent his governor Íuriya and his vizier Aqba-Abum to submit for him. “They declared a sacred oath ªwithº Kunnam, Addi-Addu [and] Isme-Addu.” Thus, there was now a triple alliance under the protection of Kunnam: Addi-Addu of an unknown kingdom, 95 Isme-Addu of Asnakkum, and their erstwhile enemy Haya-Sumu of Ilan-Íura.

93. Quoted by Guichard in “Les aspects religieux de la guerre à Mari,” RA 93 (1999), 28. 94. Note, for example, that Saknum, who preceded Yamßum as Mariote representative at the court of Haya-Sumu, reported in 26 347 on a declaration of the kings of Idamaraß to regard Zimri-Lim and Haya-Sumu “their lord and father,” while Sammetar stayed away, “seizing untoward things in his hand and placing disagreement among the kings of Idamaraß.” 95. Perhaps the Elamites installed him in place of Sub-Ram as king of Susa.

Events in the North


A.3206, a letter from Isme-Addu to Ibal-Addu, king of Aslakka, provides additional information about this time: The king of Aslakka remained loyal to Mari and resisted Isme-Addu’s attempts to bring him into the Elamite fold. Isme-Addu chided him for “holding up the torch” and warning the land about the Elamites when there was none to be warned anymore: “Zimri-Lim and the entire land has carried its tribute to the Grand Vizier of Elam. Peace and good relations have been established in the land, all of it.” Isme-Addu’s statement probably was an exaggeration. There is no evidence or conceivable reason for Mari’s having paid tribute to Elam. Isme-Addu may have interpreted Haya-Sumu’s tribute to Kunnam as Mariote tribute to Elam, because Haya-Sumu was a client of Mari and Kunnam an agent of Elam. Isme-Addu added another piece of information that refers to the time after Kunnam’s entrance: “When the commoners tied up their kings, your brothers, and (when) they led them to me, did I not guard them? And do they not now rule?” Elamite presence apparently had led to a number of rebellions, a development that explains Sub-Rams’s fate at the hand of a commoner. The fact that the royal victims were not killed or chased away but were bound and delivered to Isme-Addu, who later restored them to their thrones, indicates an orchestrated plan. Its beneficiaries were Elam and Isme-Addu, who had gained control over and the gratitude of the kings. What Haya-Sumu must have feared had actually happened. The rival city of Asnakkum had gained influence throughout Idamaraß. An important objective of Elamite control of Idamaraß in the framework of its overall strategic planning is revealed by Yamßum at the end of 26 303: “Now the messengers of The Vizier are staying with the ªkings.º They (say) ‘conduct [troops] and go. I will lay siege to Babylon.’ ” Elam obviously expected to use the manpower of Idamaraß for its push on Babylon. A case in point may have been the 300 troops of Haya-Sumu that [carried] tribute to Subat-Enlil, as Yamßum reported in 26 304, assuming that the troops were part of the tribute and were henceforth commanded by Kunnam. Haya-Sumu’s vizier, Aqba-Abum, went along to present goods and troops. Eventually, Haya-Sumu submitted in person. Yamßum reported in 26 305 that he went to Kunnam, taking with him substantial sums of silver and gold, oxen and sheep, and bowed three times. Yamßum also reported a dialogue between HayaSumu and Kunnam on the modality of Ilan-Íura’s disengagement from Mari. HayaSumu would send the Mariote garrison back to Mari. He asked Kunnam not to send his troops before the Mariote troops had left. Kunnam consented but vowed to take steps if Zimri-Lim resisted withdrawal of his troops. Before the text breaks off, Yamßum reported a statement by Kunnam on “those of Nahur.” He was probably speaking of the Mariote garrison in Nahur that Kunnam also wanted withdrawn. 21. Zimri-Lim Leaves for Razama During the 5th month, at about the time Haya-Sumu submitted to Kunnam, Zimri-Lim finally arrived in Mari, back from his trip to the Mediterranean. By the


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

8th he had not yet arrived; 96 by the 16th he was in Mari. 97 A record of the receipt of textiles is dated to day [10xn]+3 of this month “[when] ªthe king wentº to Razama.” 98 Since Zimri-Lim was in Mari on the 16th, the date cannot be [10x1]+3 and must be the 23d. 99 There is some information on the events in and around Razama in the period between 27 III, when 14 104+ was written, and 23 V. (1) Yamßum reported from Ilan-Íura in 26 318 that Sarraya had managed to set a siege tower on fire and that Atamrum had asked Sarraya for tribute and release of the troops that Sarraya had captured. Yamßum had the impression that Atamrum would soon give up the siege and urged Zimri-Lim to hasten to Razama, so he would not miss the chance of earning the fame of savior of the city. In the same letter Yamßum referred to the king’s request to choose a “strong” messenger to carry the mail. Zimri-Lim was obviously eager to get information on the siege of Razama, and to get it fast. The perilous state of the siege is confirmed by Atamrum’s moves. His general La-Awil-Addu went to Esnuna to ask for additional troops and was expected to urge The Vizier to invade Mariote territory if Zimri-Lim approached Razama. But his request for additional troops was denied, and he returned empty-handed. 100 (2) At some point during the siege, Atamrum was expected to leave the camp facing Razama and to make a foray into Idamaraß. Ibal-Addu, the king of Aslakka, wrote Zimri-Lim in 28 57 that this possibility made it difficult for him to rally opposition to Kunnam; and Ibal-Pi-El reported in 2 21 from Babylon that a message from Meptum in Suhum had been received according to which a force of 20,000 troops, consisting of 10,000 Yamhadeans and 10,000 Zalmaqeans, were headed for Idamaraß against Atamrum. It is noteworthy that the information about troop movements in the north traveled from Suhum, via Babylon, to Mari. Zimri-Lim surely knew more about the affair, and Ibal-Pi-El simply reported what filtered through to Babylon. The topic of Yamhadean and Zalmaqean support for Mari is taken up below in §35. (3) Charpin has traced the advance of Zimri-Lim to Razama by identifying administrative records that imply the presence of the king. 101 Accordingly, he was in Qa††unan on 6 VI and in Zanasi on 4 and 13 VII. The location of Zanasi is un96. Bahdi-Lim, who was in charge in Mari during the king’s absence, wrote 6 34 on that date. 97. According to an unpublished text mentioned by Charpin in 26/2, 35. 98. Letter 23 545. Only ]-tim of the month-name is preserved. It can be restored as [iti Lili-ia]-tim, which would be the 9th month, or as [iti Hi-bi-ir]-tim, the 5th month. Villard, “Roi,” 409 n. 159; and Charpin, 26/2, 36, give reasons for choosing the 5th month. 99. See Charpin 26/2, 35. 100. The information comes from letters 6 51 and 52 that Hammu-Rabi of Babylon sent Bahdi-Lim in Mari and Buqaqum in Suhum. Charpin suggested in 26/2, 38 n. 66, that the Elamites were short of troops because they concentrated them on the Babylonian front. The Vizier does not seem to have been fully behind Atamrum’s siege of Razama at any time. Already earlier during the siege, when the elders of Razama made a peace proposal, he ordered Atamrum to abandon the siege and join him (14 103). 101. See 26/2, 35.

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known. Charpin is sure that Zimri-Lim reached Razama; he explains the absence of letters mentioning his presence in Razama and the fate of the city and its intrepid ruler as a sign of his presence there. It seems likely to me that Zimri-Lim was too late and was unable to prevent the fall of Razama to Atamrum (see §51). 22. Turning Point Yamßum wrote in 26 307 that communication between him and Haya-Sumu had effectively ended when Kunnam entered Subat-Enlil. He was not admitted to consultations, and the contents of messages from Atamrum and Kunnam were kept from him. The interruption of information was so effective that Yamßum wrote 26 308 and 309 to colleagues in order to get information on messages sent by HayaSumu to the kings with whom Mari was allied. 26 308 is addressed to Aqba-Ahum in Kurda, about 100 km south of Ilan-Íura. It is not known whether this 200-km detour of information flow functioned. Yamßum received some information from Ibni-Addu, who was on good terms with Kunnam and Zimri-Lim: for example, that The Vizier told Kunnam to secure an alliance with the Turukkeans. Kunnam sent a messenger, but the initiative came to naught (26 310). At the very end of the preserved part of 26 307, Yamßum described Haya-Sumu’s reaction to the news of a victory by Zimri-Lim. It probably was achieved when Zimri-Lim made contact with the enemy as he was leaving Mariote territory on his way to Razama, that is, after his stay in Qa††unan on 6 VI. Yamßum’s letter 26 306 was probably written in the aftermath of Zimri-Lim’s victory. Yamßum had interesting news that had been extracted from “a criminal.” He says that Haya-Sumu had planned to go to Nahur, that he had talked to Kunnam, and that Kunnam pressed him to hand Nahur over to him. Nahur was a “strong” city (28 50) and with its surrounding land constituted one of four districts of upper Idamaraß (5 51). It had been seized by Zimri-Lim early on, 102 and a representative of Mari was installed there. The first was Saknum (author of 26 346–48); the second was Itur-Asdu, most of whose correspondence has not yet been published. Nahur had no king, which is unusual for an Idamaraßean city, especially an important one. Haya-Sumu, who functioned as a link between Zimri-Lim and the Idamaraßean kings, exercised a leadership role among these kings in an assembly that often met there—under the watchful eye of the resident representative of Mari. If Kunnam was demanding control of Nahur from Haya-Sumu, he was aiming at the heart of Mariote control of Idamaraß. Yamßum immediately communicated the threat to Itur-Asdu, who reacted by ordering extispicies. They indicated no danger. The divinity proved right. The Elamite case was suddenly lost. Haya-Sumu’s attitude toward Yamßum had changed. He called him in and started backpedaling: not he, but Isme-Addu, king of Asnakkum, his former enemy and more recently partner of the triple alliance under the protection of the Elamites, was to blame for coziness with Elam. Haya-Sumu 102. According to Charpin, 26/2, 117, in ZL 2u.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

also graced Yamßum with a piece of wisdom on Elam: “It devours what is ªat warº or peace with it.” Thus, he hinted that Elam would devour him despite his peaceful intentions, and that he was now ready to oppose Elam and return to Mari’s corner and his position as leader of the kings of Idamaraß. The kings assumed a waiting attitude. They delivered sheep, but they did not go in person to Kunnam. They were about to assemble in Nahur, where the relationship with Kunnam would certainly be the most important issue. There was a possibility that Kunnam could “devour” the kings of Idamaraß in one stroke. Haya-Sumu may indeed have planned to be in Nahur, as the information from “the criminal” that “Haya-Sumu goes to Nahur” indicates. Had Haya-Sumu gone, he would have appeared in the assembly as a vassal of Elam, and Kunnam would have requested, before the assembled kings of Idamaraß, his handover of Nahur to Elam. Surely it was the news of Zimri-Lim’s victory that motivated Haya-Sumu to act decisively against the Elamites instead. He warned the kings of Idamaraß against holding the assembly and informed them of his belief that the true intentions of Elam were to “hunt them.” As result, in Yamßum’s words, “the entire land is now leaning toward my lord.” Another perspective on conditions in Idamaraß during the time when Kunnam lost influence is documented in the letters of Ibal-Addu, the king of Aslakka. In A.3206, Isme-Addu of Asnakkum ridiculed Ibal-Addu for sounding the alarm about an Elamite invasion of Idamaraß at a time when Elamites were already in full control of Idamaraß. In 28 57 Ibal-Addu assessed public opinion in Idamaraß as being still on the side of Mari. If Zimri-Lim would send him “1 thousand, 2 thousand,” troops, the land could still be saved; otherwise the enemy would succeed in extending a web of alliances all the way to Zalmaqum to the north. Already the gods by whom oaths of allegiance to Elam would be sworn were being brought up. He himself was under pressure. Kunnam urged him to come to Subat-Enlil, and he considered giving up his fight and leaving his city. But then he started to work actively against the Elamites. By the time he wrote 28 55, he had “pulled in city after city,” binding them with an oath. Again, he asked Zimri-Lim for troops, arguing that this would enable him to motivate the “upper land and Idamaraß” to refuse the offers and demands of Elam. When he wrote 28 56, he had succeeded, apparently without Mariote troops. Idamaraß and the upper land did refuse Elamite requests, and the kings did not provide troops to Kunnam or Atamrum. If we believe Ibal-Addu, it was he who brought about the turning point with his stubborn resistance to the Elamite cause. More likely, it was Zimri-Lim’s victory, which predated 28 56. Zakira-Hammu, governor of Qa††unan, reported the arrival of an Elamite messenger from Kunnam in 27 88. He detained him and asked the king for instruction. He must have been told to send him on to Saggaratum. Yaqqim-Addu, the governor of Saggaratum, reported the arrival of the messenger in 14 102. He asked the Mariote escort about Kunnam’s message 103 and learned that Kunnam wished to visit 103. This was standard procedure. A messenger from land A, when sent to land B, was accompanied by an escort of messenger status from land B. The escort was privy to the message.

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Zimri-Lim, because he regarded himself as his “son.” The slow progress of Kunnam’s messenger toward Mari is remarkable, especially the fact that he was detained in Saggaratum. The authorities in Mari could have instructed the governor of Saggaratum and Qa††unan at the same time to let the messenger pass. They did not, and he may actually never have gotten farther than Saggaratum. Why did Kunnam send a messenger to Mari, and why did he acknowledge Zimri-Lim’s superior rank? Was he attempting to deceive him? Perhaps he was desperate. His power in Idamaraß was waning, and Zimri-Lim’s power was waxing. He may have thought that direct contact with Zimri-Lim might show up a rift between Mari and Babylon and an interest in a special relationship between Elam and Mari. If he had such thoughts, he was deceiving himself. Mariote troops were marching to Babylonia to help in the fight against Elam at the time. I suspect that Kunnam’s initiative was undertaken after Zimri-Lim’s victory, and that this victory represented the turning point after which Kunnam’s position of power in Idamaraß started to crumble. 23. Arrest of Ibni-Addu Three affairs involving Haya-Sumu overlap with the time of Kunnam’s stay in Subat-Enlil: the arrest of Ibni-Addu of Tadum by Haya-Sumu, the conflict between Yamßum and Ustasni-El, and the development of irreconcilable differences between Haya-Sumu and his wife Kirum. Yamßum told the beginning of Ibni-Addu’s story in 26 310: Zimri-Lim had installed him as king of Tadum, a city in the vicinity of Ilan-Íura. But “they,” presumably citizens of Tadum who leaned toward Haya-Sumu, removed him. When Kunnam came to Subat-Enlil, Ibni-Addu went to him and asked for help in his quest to regain his kingship. Kunnam gave him a soldier who would escort him to Tadum. Haya-Sumu, who had learned of Ibni-Addu’s impending return to Tadum, sent a message asking the Tadites to kill him. When Ibni-Addu arrived with the lone soldier of Kunnam, the clever Tadites did not kill him and so did not affront Kunnam, but they did not accept him as their king either and so did not affront Haya-Sumu. Ibni-Addu returned to Kunnam. He stayed in Subat-Enlil for some time and was a guest at Kunnam’s table. Yamßum reports an episode during that time, in 26 311, which is dated 10 IV: Kunnam, under the influence of alcohol and ignorant of Ibni-Addu’s continuing friendship with Zimri-Lim, told him how secrets were passed from Mari to Elam. Ibni-Addu relayed the information to Yamßum. In the same letter, Yamßum quoted Zimri-Lim’s request to dispatch Ibni-Addu to Mari. The king may have wanted to remove him from a dangerous situation. The agents of Haya-Sumu were still after him, and a word to Kunnam about his contacts with Yamßum would probably have cost his head. But Ibni-Addu felt safe, “since the finger of Zimri-Lim has secured a hold on me,” as he told Yamßum. But he underestimated Haya-Sumu. When we hear of him next in 26 312, he had regained his position in Tadum and was staying in his palace. But Aqba-Abum, Íuriya, and Simatum, the three main political agents of Haya-Sumu, succeeded in having him


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

tied up “inside ªhisº palace” and brought to Elali, where he was incarcerated. Yamßum reacted strongly to the news of his arrest. He told Haya-Sumu that there was no good reason to treat Ibni-Addu as a criminal and that his arrest was not due to a crime other than loyalty to Mari. He warned that Ibni-Addu was a servant of Zimri-Lim and under his protection. Haya-Sumu defended his action by pointing out that Ibni-Addu had collaborated with an unnamed rival of his. Yamßum wrote Zimri-Lim, “Idamaraß, all of it, will be dead, not alive, because of that man. Because he is a man of Idamaraß you should keep that man alive.” He asked for the dispatch of “a rider of donkeys who does not mince words,” who could convince Haya-Sumu to free Ibni-Addu. Chronologically, this first part of the story of Ibni-Addu (the last part is found below, in §30) spans the time from the beginning of Kunnam’s stay in Subat-Enlil, when Kunnam had enough influence to help an Idamaraßean regain his throne, to the time when he had lost this influence. The story of Ibni-Addu yields a clue to the date of Kunnam’s entrance into Subat-Enlil: As detailed in §19, it must have happened between III 25 and 10 IV, the date of 10 IV being the date of Yamßum’s letter 26 311. Kunnam was obviously already in Subat-Enlil when Yamßum wrote that Ibni-Addu went to Kunnam in Subat-Enlil in 26 310. Letter 26 310 antedates 26 311. The events reported in 26 310, the travel of Ibni-Addu and an Elamite soldier from Subat-Enlil to Tadum and back, took at least one day. It is not likely that IbniAddu approached Kunnam on the very day of Kunnam’s entrance into Subat-Enlil, while it is likely that a number of claimants to kingship in Idamaraßean cities, including Isme-Addu, Addi-Addu, and Ibni-Addu, did not wait long before approaching Kunnam. We also have to allow some time for the information to reach Yamßum. These three factors suggest that Kunnam was in Subat-Enlil at least three days before 10 IV. The window of time for Kunnam’s entrance can thus be narrowed to the time between 25 III and 7 IV. 24. Conflict between Yamßum and Ustasni-El When the news of Kunnam’s entrance into Subat-Enlil reached Ilan-Íura, Yamßum reported on the fact and his reaction in 26 323. He had ordered the troops of the Mariote garrison to ascend the wall. A herald relayed the order, but UstasniEl, a Mariote military commander, declared that “his” troops would not go on the wall. The herald stated that it was an order of his superior, Yamßum. Ustasni-El pushed him. The herald exhorted those present to serve as witnesses to the fact that Ustasni-El had committed an act of rebellion. We would expect Yamßum to have been informed immediately and to have taken action immediately; UstasniEl would have been executed on the spot, or at least shackled, sent to Mari, and executed there. None of this happened. Actually, nothing happened immediately. The next day, Yamßum assembled the troops. They confirmed the insubordination, and Yamßum tore his clothes. He then went before Haya-Sumu and informed him of the events. Haya-Sumu reacted lamely, saying something to the effect that the

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matter would cause no harm as long as it did not reach Zimri-Lim’s ears. It did reach the ears of Zimri-Lim, however, and he sent Sumu-Takim to look into this and other issues. In 26 322, Sumu-Takim reported from Ilan-Íura. He had assembled the troops and asked them whom they wanted to obey, Ustasni-El or Yamßum. The majority declared themselves unwilling to follow Ustasni-El; 15 were willing. Sumu-Takim scheduled another assembly to repeat the question. If it confirmed the results of the first assembly, he would take Ustasni-El back to Mari with him. Yamßum reported in the second part of 26 323 an additional detail about Sumu-Takim’s mission and his popularity contest with Ustasni-El. Sumu-Takim (and consequently, Yamßum) relayed to Haya-Sumu Zimri-Lim’s statement delegating the decision on leadership of the Mariote garrison in Ilan-Íura to Haya-Sumu: “Dispatch who must be dispatched and keep whom you keep!” Haya-Sumu declared in Yamßum’s presence, “Ustasni-El must stay, and Yamßum must go!” Yamßum, disregarding Zimri-Lim’s apparent delegation of the question to Haya-Sumu, retorted that he would go only after being told so by Zimri-Lim. But he anticipated that Haya-Sumu would prevail and told his troops that he would leave. They were upset and told him that they would follow him: four years’ service for Haya-Sumu were long enough, and without Yamßum they would not want to serve any longer. The troops then took matters into their own hands and went to Haya-Sumu, telling him that they would take no orders from Ustasni-El. Haya-Sumu refused to deal with the troops as one body and demanded that one should speak for them. Someone named Rabiyam did, but a break interrupts the text at this point. Sometime later, Zimri-Lim sent a second envoy, Ulluri. During his stay in IlanÍura, Ustasni-El approached him, complaining that Yamßum had “turned the mouth of the troops against him.” Ulluri informed him that he was taking care of Yamßum’s interest. He should approach the king’s secretary, Su-Nuhra-Halu, who would be taking care of his interests. In a second meeting, Ulluri fired Ustasni-El from his post. Ustasni-El was unmoved, telling him that he would not leave his post until told so by the king. He followed up on Ulluri’s advice and wrote Su-NuhraHalu. The letter is 26 344. In it, he told the story of his clashes with Ulluri. UstasniEl must have prevailed, because one year later, in 26 345, he wrote the king again, asking to find a replacement for him or to restate his appointment to the garrison in Ilan-Íura. He explained that he had stayed five years in his post and had lately grown concerned about his household, because the mayor of his hometown was taking advantage of his absence. The affair of Ustasni-El is difficult to explain. How could his insubordination go unpunished? The herald’s conduct and words imply that he was subordinate to Yamßum. Ustasni-El is conspicuously absent in 26 314, where Yamßum details the rank and file of the garrison: Yamßum was commander with the rank of general; Ubariya was his division commander; there was one unnamed lieutenant and an unspecified number of unranked soldiers. In light of his actions and the arrangement of a vote, pitting Yamßum against him, Ustasni-El could hardly have been the


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

lieutenant. He came in ZL 5u to Ilan-Íura; Yamßum came four years later. Perhaps the troops that they led were not integrated, and there was no chain of command? 25. The Unhappy Marriage of Kirum Kirum, “Garden,” was the younger of two daughters of Zimri-Lim who were married to Haya-Sumu. 104 The older one was Simatum. By ZL 9u, the spouses had developed seemingly irreconcilable differences, and Kirum wanted to return to Mari. Most of Sumu-Takim’s letter 26 322 addresses the issue of her departure from Ilan-Íura, the rest dealing with the conflict between Yamßum and Ustasni-El. In two meetings Haya-Sumu assured Sumu-Takim that she was free to go and that Sumu-Takim was free to communicate this to her. Zimri-Lim wrote his wife Sibtu in 10 135 that he had sent a message to Haya-Sumu—the carrier of the message would have been Sumu-Takim—and Haya-Sumu had assured him that she was free to go. Yamßum reported on the accomplishments of Sumu-Takim’s mission in 26 323. Sumu-Takim probably took this report back to Mari. So far, things were going according to plan: Sumu-Takim had dealt with the aftermath of Ustasni-El’s insubordination and secured Haya-Sumu’s permission for Kirum’s return. Sumu-Takim did not take Kirum back to Mari himself. It fell to Yamßum to follow up on Haya-Sumu’s promise and organize the return. It took time. In 26 324, Yamßum quoted a new instruction from Zimri-Lim to dispatch Kirum. The king had lost patience, telling him, “take action!” When Yamßum approached Haya-Sumu about it, the latter “did not agree.” He had reversed himself and did not honor the promise given to Sumu-Takim. Yamßum used strong words and apparently managed to change Haya-Sumu’s decision again. He now asked Zimri-Lim to provide seven pack asses and a coach to bring Kirum to Mari. 105 It is not known whether the donkeys and the coach were ever sent. Kirum remained in Ilan-Íura, and it took another envoy, this time Ulluri, to request her release from Haya-Sumu. Ulluri was sent to Ilan-Íura also in order to prevent HayaSumu’s submission to Kunnam. Yamßum reported extensively on this aspect of his mission without mentioning the problem of Kirum’s return (26 303). On his way back from Ilan-Íura, Ulluri passed Saggaratum and talked to Yaqqim-Addu. The latter expressed his surprise that Ulluri had come without Kirum in 14 118. Asked about it, Ulluri said that he had used “good and strong words,” but to no avail. Matters got worse. At the time that Haya-Sumu tendered his submission to Elam, Yamßum wrote in 26 304 about Kirum. She had asked him to write her father that Haya-Sumu “could not care less about her” and added that, because of this, “either a woman is killed, or else she falls from a roof.” Kirum wrote her father herself. 104. Much has been written on this marriage, the marriage of her sister Simatum, and the relationship between the sisters. See especially Durand, “Trois études,” 162–72; Charpin, 26/2, 43–46; Ziegler, FM 4 (1999), 64. 105. It is remarkable that Yamßum did not have the donkeys at his disposal and that HayaSumu was not forthcoming in providing the means for Kirum’s departure.

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Her letter, 10 33 , may actually have been mailed to Mari together with 26 304. She said her life had “become short” as a consequence of “hearing again and again the word of Simatum,” and she threatened to commit suicide: “If my lord does not conduct me to Mari, I will not hesitate to throw myself from the roof.” 106 In a second letter to her father, 10 32, Kirum quoted the word of Simatum. It was uttered when Simatum “rose to her face,” and said: “ªasº my star may do to me whatever [he] wishes, ªsoº I [shall] do to you whatever [I] wish.” With “my star,” Simatum referred to her father. At the time Simatum uttered the ominous word, Haya-Sumu threatened to kill his wife Kirum outright. She wrote her father: “And Haya-Sumu rose to my face and (said) ‘you occupy the position of (my) representative right here. In the end, I will kill you. (Then) let your star come and bring you back!’ ” The utter disregard of Haya-Sumu for the power of his overlord Zimri-Lim, which is expressed in the expectation that the father will have to come to collect the body of his daughter, is astounding and must have been especially ominous for Kirum. Haya-Sumu’s insistence that Kirum serve as his representative finds its explanation in 10 34+. In this letter, Kirum wrote her father that Haya-Sumu, who was about to leave for Mari, had told her: “To whom will we leave the city (of IlanÍura)? Stay over here until I return from Mari!” Zimri-Lim probably had requested the visit. Yamßum had counseled the king to issue an invitation at the time of Ulluri’s mission (26 303), and there was clearly much to take care of between IlanÍura and Mari. Maybe it was too much for Haya-Sumu. We have no indication whether he came to Mari at this time. Kirum stayed on in Ilan-Íura. She did not jump from the roof and Haya-Sumu did not kill her, but things did not improve either. Several months later, Yamßum reported a second altercation in a badly preserved section of 26 315. Haya-Sumu was planning to leave Ilan-Íura, and this time he wanted his wife to accompany him, but she refused. She told him that she felt bad enough in Ilan-Íura as it was and wanted to go back to Mari. Haya-Sumu threatened to kill her “with a bronze dagger” if she did not come with him. Yamßum, after reporting the affair, advised the king to keep the threat to himself and not tell it to his messenger, presumably the messenger shuttling between Ilan-Íura and Mari. He may have been concerned that Haya-Sumu would act on his threat if it became public knowledge. 107 This is the last we hear of Kirum. Durand is convinced that a vassal would never kill a wife who was the daughter of his overlord. In a world where a wife was called the “maid” of her husband and treated accordingly, Haya-Sumu might have killed Kirum and remained within the bounds of accepted behavior. 106. The contemporaneity of 26 304 and 10 33 is assumed here on the basis of the identical threat to commit suicide by jumping from the roof. It is of course possible that Kirum threatened it repeatedly. 107. Charpin understands the words “he will kill Kirum, not let her live” as Zimri-Lim’s question to the messenger about whether Kirum had been killed. Note that the verbal forms are in present tense and thus contradict Charpin’s translation.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 26. Atamrum Changes Sides

Hammu-Rabi of Babylon tried to form a grand alliance against Elam after losing Upi in the campaign season of ZL 9u. One piece of his plan was to prop up IsmeDagan in Ekallatum, and another was to persuade Atamrum to leave the Elamite camp. This emerges from A.4515, a letter written in Babylon. The writer, whose name is broken, quoted Hammu-Rabi of Babylon as having said that he dispatched 5,000 troops to Ekallatum for Isme-Dagan. They were to go up the Euphrates, pass into Suhum, which was controlled by Mari, and reach Ekallatum by way of the steppe. This circuitous route was necessary in order to avoid the stretch of the Tigris route near Esnuna that the Elamites controlled. Hammu-Rabi requested the participation of Mariote troops. The primary mission of the combined Babylonian-Mariote force presumably was to allow Isme-Dagan to stand up to Elamite forces. It could also induce Atamrum to change sides because he would be cut off from easy communication with the Elamites in Esnuna and, in case he did change sides, he could be shielded from the wrath of the Elamites in Esnuna. Atamrum had been approached about this before, but he had refused then, because he feared that IsmeDagan would denounce him to The Vizier. Kunnam was in Subat-Enlil with a strong contingent of troops and could have pounced on Atamrum, if Atamrum had been perceived as a risk to Elamite interests. Isme-Dagan could then have gained an advantage for betraying Atamrum’s intention to change sides. A strong BabylonianMariote presence in Ekallatum would counteract such developments. In addition, Hammu-Rabi instructed the writer of the letter to tell Zimri-Lim to march up to the northern border of his territory and induce the main rulers of the Hilly Arc— Hammu-Rabi of Kurda, Atamrum of Allahad, and Hadnu-Rabi of Qa††ara—to break free from Elam and join the Babylonian-Mariote alliance. Motivated by the promise of Hammu-Rabi’s plan and the erosion of Kunnam’s power, Atamrum indeed took steps to make peace with Mari. One such step is reported in a letter from the governor of Saggaratum to Zimri-Lim (14 101): Atamrum had solicited the support of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda toward arranging a meeting with Zimri-Lim. As a price for peace with Mari, he would go to Subat-Enlil, evict or kill Kunnam, and turn the city over “to its lord” Zimri-Lim. He actually took steps to go to Subat-Enlil. In 26 334, the Mariote roving envoy, Ulluri, and the head of the Mariote garrison, Yamßum, reported from Ilan-Íura, which is close to SubatEnlil, that they had received information about Atamrum’s having gone up to Luhayan, calling “on the kings” repeatedly, and having planned to go to Subat-Enlil. A little later, Ulluri wrote to Zakira-Hammu, the governor in Qa††unan, that Atamrum had not succeeded in assembling “the kings” in Luhayan and had returned to Razama to take down the fortifications of that city. Zakira-Hammu relayed this news in 27 89. Atamrum eventually made a treaty with Mari. The text of a commitment that he swore to Zimri-Lim is preserved in A.96. It ends with the following words: “I did not write him [under] ªpretenseº or for reasons of evil. Indeed, with my full heart I

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have written him. The good words which [I swore] to Zimri-Lim, son of YahdunLim, king of Mari and the land of the Hana, I shall indeed adhere to with my full heart, I shall indeed make a knot [for him (which cannot be untied)].” When did Atamrum change sides? The last dated hostile act against Mari dates to 27 III (14 104+), when he was besieging Razama. Still after that date he requested more troops from Elam. That request was denied. On 23 V, Zimri-Lim started out for Razama, but we do not know whether the city was still under siege. The first friendly act was his promise to remove Kunnam from Subat-Enlil as a reward for a meeting with Zimri-Lim (14 101). Kunnam left the city near the end of ZL 9u or very early in ZL 10u. When Atamrum forced a treaty on Haya-Sumu in early ZL 10u, as will be explained in detail in the next section, he argued that there was already a treaty between him and Zimri-Lim (26 328). Atamrum’s solicitation of support from Hammu-Rabi of Kurda would have been most timely before HammuRabi visited Mari at the time of the offerings for Estar during the 9th month. The year of that visit is not known, but it may have been ZL 9u. 108 It follows that Atamrum changed sides between the 4th and 9th months of ZL 9u. 27. Kunnam Hands over Subat-Enlil to Simat-Huluris Yamßum reported in 26 325 that Kunnam turned the responsibility for the city of Subat-Enlil over to Simat-Huluris, a fellow Elamite according to the name, then led the Elamite troops away. His departure seems to have come as unexpectedly as his arrival. The land was again “stirred up.” Yamßum added: “All the kings had provided their troops.” These were the troops that kings of Idamaraß handed over to Kunnam as part of the price of being protected by Elam, such as the 300 troops who carried tribute from Ilan-Íura to Subat-Enlil (26 304). Kunnam probably took these troops along in keeping with the plan of The Vizier, whose messengers had told the kings in Subat-Enlil: “Conduct [troops] and go! I will lay siege to Babylon” (26 303). 109 Yamßum did not have much to say about the momentous event. He probably did not have much information. He caught two Elamites, but did not relay any information from them, probably because he still did not have anyone who could translate Elamite. His intention of sending them on to Zimri-Lim was frustrated by Haya-Sumu’s intervention. Relations between Haya-Sumu and Yamßum were once again bad—so bad that Haya-Sumu ordered Yamßum to leave, a sure sign that HayaSumu was not in great need of the Mariote garrison at the moment. Haya-Sumu also undertook a military move, sending out troops and a general. Again Yamßum did not know more than this bare fact. Kunnam’s departure left Simat-Huluris in a difficult situation. The city was isolated and there was little hope for an Elamite rescue action. Yamßum reported in 26 327 that Elamite messengers had managed to enter the city secretly and told Simat108. For the visit of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda to Mari, see §58. 109. See §20 above.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Huluris that The Vizier had withdrawn from Babylonia and returned to Elam. Publicly, the brave Simat-Huluris refused to believe it. The grain reserves in the city gave him two months’ time (26 328). Yamßum urged Zimri-Lim to come up, presumably to take direct control of the city himself. There were others who aimed to fill the vacuum. Isme-Dagan, freed from the Elamite yoke and flush with Babylonian troops, made a military move that could have been followed up by a grab for Subat-Enlil. Ibal-Pi-El reported on it in 2 49, not hiding his suspicions that Isme-Dagan had big plans. He recommended letting Atamrum seize Subat-Enlil before Isme-Dagan did. Haya-Sumu had his plans, too. Yamßum reported in 26 328 that Haya-Sumu had sent messengers to ask to whom the city would open its gate and to declare that he would serve as intermediary in case the gates would be opened for Zimri-Lim. Perhaps the troops whose dispatch Yamßum had mentioned before (26 325) were actually headed for Subat-Enlil, in which case the messengers and their message would have packed some punch. Simat-Huluris reacted defiantly to the question. He bravely pledged to guard the city for The Vizier until rescued by him or until his death or capture. Yanuh-Samar, the second in command in Subat-Enlil since the time of Qarni-Lim, obviously an able survivalist, answered without committing himself in any way. He probably anticipated that Atamrum would become his new master. His brother shuttled already between Subat-Enlil and Atamrum. Atamrum, who would win Subat-Enlil in the end, sent his general, La-Awil-Addu, to Ilan-Íura first. I assume that he intended to prevent Haya-Sumu from further meddling in the quest for control of Subat-Enlil. Yamßum learned from Haya-Sumu that La-AwilAddu was coming with a tower, which meant that he was equipped to force his way into Ilan-Íura if that proved necessary. Yamßum’s reaction was uncompromising. He would not let La-Awil-Addu enter and was ready to risk force of arms in order to preserve the interests of Mari. It seems that La-Awil-Addu came without a tower. Perhaps Haya-Sumu had sent word of Yamßum’s uncompromising stance. Yamßum remained suspicious. He noted that La-Awil-Addu led 500 troops and equipment, and he repeated his refusal to let La-Awil-Addu enter: If Haya-Sumu wanted to meet them, he would have to leave the city. Yamßum then dictated the precise conditions for a meeting inside or outside the city, conditions that were not to the liking of Haya-Sumu, and “his [face] darkened.” The next day, the conflict was solved by an oath of allegiance to Atamrum sworn by Íuriya, the governor of Ilan-Íura. Haya-Sumu had submitted again. 28. Atamrum Becomes the New Master of Subat-Enlil After La-Awil-Addu’s presence at the walls of Ilan-Íura had motivated HayaSumu to let his governor, Íuriya, swear an oath of allegiance to Atamrum, La-AwilAddu probably picked up the tower, which had been left out of sight of Ilan-Íura and, having received reinforcements that boosted the number of his troops from 500 to 2000, established a camp outside the gate of Subat-Enlil. In 26 320, Yamßum

Events in the North


mentioned the number of troops and the establishment of the camp after citing an order from Atamrum and Hammu-Rabi of Kurda to their respective troops to assemble on the 10th day rather than the end of the month. We have to fill in the scenario in order to turn his terse statements into an understandable process: there had been a plan of concerted military action by Atamrum of Allahad and HammuRabi of Kurda, specifically the enlistment of troops, probably for securing the control of Subat-Enlil. Events forced immediate action. Allahad and Kurda evidently wanted to forestall action by other parties, especially by Zimri-Lim. Fifteen hundred troops were enlisted and rushed to augment the 500 troops that La-Awil-Addu had at his disposal. The combined 2,000 troops set up camp before Subat-Enlil. It is interesting that Atamrum’s call to arms went to Allahad, as Hammu-Rabi’s went to Kurda. Apparently, Allahad was still the capital of Atamrum’s kingdom, and Atamrum was not yet officially king of Andarig, even though the previous king of Andarig, Qarni-Lim, had been dead for about one year. Yamßum had repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, urged Zimri-Lim to come and take control of Subat-Enlil himself. Instead, Zimri-Lim had ordered Yamßum to send someone to Yanuh-Samar and Simat-Huluris to obtain a full report on the situation in the city. Yamßum sent his men to find out and reported on their mission in 26 316. They were stopped by the troops of La-Awil-Addu outside Subat-Enlil but managed to obtain some information: the Esnunakean troops had sworn allegiance to Atamrum and handed over the city; 110 La-Awil-Addu had entered the city and was now occupying it; 400 Elamite soldiers that Kunnam had left with SimatHuluris had been conducted to Andarig; La-Awil-Addu had taken the Esnunakean and the Qutean soldiers under his command; Assyrian merchants, who had been evicted by the Elamites, were allowed back and returned to their houses. Saknum, who was also in Ilan-Íura at this time, wrote in 26 354 that HayaAbum, the king of the land Apum, had been “called to account” and that La-AwilAddu had left Subat-Enlil with 3,000 Esnunakean troops. Nobody knew where he was headed. Saknum considered Asnakkum or Surusum to be possible destinations. 111 In 26 319, Yamßum reported that Haya-Abum had been killed, and that Yanuh-Samar was put under house arrest. Yamßum did not say what happened to Simat-Huluris. If he was not killed outright, he was marched with the Elamite troops to Andarig. Yamßum also reported that La-Awil-Addu had left Subat-Enlil with his troops, heading “upland.” He was concerned that they might go to Nahur. Saknum mentioned a third foray by La-Awil-Addu in 26 355. At that time, Atamrum’s general left with 5,000 troops. His destination was again unknown.

110. The episode is also described in 26 372 by Yarim-Addu from information gathered in Babylon. Accordingly, Atamrum also made a sworn commitment to the Esnunakean troops. 111. For historical antecedents of such a move, see Charpin, “Engrenage,” 101–2.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 29. Taki’s Rescue of Subat-Enlil

At this time, probably during one of La-Awil-Addu’s forays, the city of SubatEnlil was attacked. Yamßum reported in 26 313 that Taki, another general of Atamrum, came to the rescue of the city and then proceeded to Suna and Amaz. In all three places he defeated the enemy. Yamßum was impressed by his success and added that no enemy would have escaped had Taki and his troops been present from the beginning. Yamßum’s statement implies that the enemy did achieve some initial gain. Yamßum did not identify the enemy. If the sequence of defeats is a description of the retreat, the enemies were, or included, the Eluhteans, because they probably controlled Amaz at the time. 112 Yamßum’s report includes a badly preserved passage about the interaction between his and Taki’s troops. It concludes with the statement “those are truly [servants] of my lord,” and there are sentence fragments in the preceding lines that indicate a good working relationship between Yamßum and Taki and his men. 113 In 26 331, Yamßum reported that he was sending ribs, probably the ribs of an aurochs, to La-Awil-Addu and a shoulder to Taki. Obviously, relations were cordial. On the other hand, Yamßum’s relationship with Haya-Sumu was again very bad. He reported in 26 325 that Haya-Sumu had ordered him to leave. In 26 313, he quoted himself as having told Taki that he and the Mariote garrison were about to return to Mari. After Taki’s rout of his enemies, Yamßum received a response to his letter 26 325. Zimri-Lim had decided that it was time to forcefully stand behind his servant. He wrote a letter to Haya-Sumu, whose contents we do not know, and instructed Yamßum to be uncompromising: if again asked by Haya-Sumu to leave, he should agree but make clear that he would not leave by himself and then take the Mariote troops with him. He should also challenge Haya-Sumu to show his enmity openly and to cut the ties with Mari. 30. The End of Ibni-Addu In Yamßum’s report 26 319 on one of La-Awil-Addu’s forays from the camp outside Subat-Enlil, we hear again about Ibni-Addu, who had been languishing in prison in Elali for many months. 114 Ibni-Addu had requested going to Mari, but his request was denied by Haya-Sumu. Yamßum in turn requested that Zimri-Lim order his extradition to Mari. By the time of Taki’s rescue of Subat-Enlil, Ibni-Addu had been moved from Elali to Miskillum. 115 His life was still in danger, and Yamßum sug112. See §68. 113. Lines 35–37 are read by Charpin: inanna awilum su [ ] / ana sir be[liya ustamriß] / u isa[ris itti beliya ul itawi]. I restore the corresponding positive statements: ana sir be[liya imaqqut] / u isa[ris itti beliya itawi]. 114. See §23. 115. A town on the border between Hazzikkannum and Ilan-Íura. Guichard placed it in the center of the triangle formed by the cities Ilan-Íura, Tadum, and Hazzikkannum (“Dame de Nagar,” 241).

Events in the North


gested in 26 313 detaining Íuriya, the governor of Ilan-Íura, who was in Mari at the time, until Haya-Sumu released Ibni-Addu and his household goods. According to 26 315, Zimri-Lim eventually did write to Haya-Sumu about Ibni-Addu. HayaSumu’s reply was ominous: He would not free Ibni-Addu, who was his enemy, and he would cut off his head instead. Yamßum again suggested using Íuriya as a pawn for Ibni-Addu. As an afterthought, he extended his suggestion to Simatum, HayaSumu’s wife and Zimri-Lim’s daughter, who was in Mari with Íuriya. Nothing more is heard of Ibni-Addu. Haya-Sumu probably had him killed. One factor in (or perhaps the main reason for) his pursuit of Ibni-Addu’s removal was his intent to install his own son in Tadum, where Ibni-Addu had been king. In 26 315, Yamßum quotes Haya-Sumu as having said “I will give [ ] to my son. My [son] will go there, and he will occupy that house.” Charpin restored [Kurda], but this is impossible because the king of Kurda at the time was Hammu-Rabi, and there is no indication that his position was so tenuous as to allow Haya-Sumu to envision replacing him with his son. I would restore [Tadum]. 116 31. The Flour Problem It was customary to provide troops, including allied troops, with flour. The custom is documented, for example, in 14 74, where Yaqqim-Addu writes, “a pest has befallen the flour which I caused to be milled some time ago to meet (the need) of the allied troops.” 117 Yamßum mentioned the problem of flour provisions that had plagued the Mariote garrison in Ilan-Íura for some time in the last paragraph of 26 313. Zimri-Lim had already written “[once], ªtwiceº, and 10 times” to Haya-Sumu about it, but apparently without success. The problem undermined the morale of the troops to such an extent that a division commander, Ubariya, wrote a letter, 26 356, directly to Zimri-Lim. He told Zimri-Lim that the troops were angry and might rise up at any time and leave. The reasons were two: they had been promised to be replaced and were not replaced, and they received unmilled barley, which they had to grind themselves. In 26 314, Yamßum suggested that the troops of Ilan-Íura in Mari should be treated like the Mariote troops in Ilan-Íura. It probably had the desired effect because nothing is heard of the issue again. The details of Yamßum’s suggestion provide us with precious information. We learn that there were troops of Ilan-Íura in Mari at the same time that Mariote troops stayed in Ilan-Íura. They may have been the Ilan-Íurean contingent of the 2,000 troops of Haya-Sumu and Sub-Ram, whose 116. Charpin was led to his restoration by a passage in 26 304 that he translated, “Maintenant, depuis qu’il (Haya-Sumu) a intronisé son fils roi de Kurdâ.” In the meantime, it has become clear that the Akkadian verb that he translated “intronisé” means something else. Durand, 28, 209, suggested “to extend protection to someone.” 117. The terminology is not as clear as one would hope. In 26 437, it is reported that Babylonian troops operating from Andarig received “grain” as provisions. I suspect that “grain” is used here in a general sense for “milled grain.”


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

arrival in Qa††unan was reported by Governor Zakira-Hammu in 27 69. The highest-ranking soldier of Ilan-Íura in Mari was a general who, like Yamßum, received three donkey-loads of grain per month. It follows that Yamßum had the rank of a general. Next, there were one Ilan-Íurean division commander and several lieutenants. They corresponded to the division commander Ubariya and just one lieutenant of the Mariotes. The contingent of Ilan-Íura in Mari was either more numerous or differently structured than the Mariote contingent in Ilan-Íura. Both ranks were paid, presumably contrary to custom, like soldiers in Ilan-Íura. The pay was 21 liters per soldier per month. It was a meager rate, amounting to about two-thirds of the rate a Sumerian day-laborer earned in the Ur III period. 32. An Alleged Oath Violation Yamßum reported in 26 302 on the aftermath of an accusation that he had violated an oath by accepting seven Numha slaves from Yasim-El, his colleague in Andarig. An inquiry was made in Andarig and Ilan-Íura by Aqba-Ahum, Mari’s representative in Kurda, and Yamßum’s senior. It did not substantiate the charge. For Yamßum, the negative outcome constituted vindication and proof that HayaSumu had been denouncing him groundlessly. At the end of the long letter, Yamßum mentioned that Yasim-El had sent him an ox, and that “a boy” of Yasim-El had driven that ox to Qa††unan. That boy, said Yamßum, might have been given by the Atamrum to Yasim-El, or else Yasim-El might have captured him. It is known from 26 408 that Atamrum distributed prisoners of war to his allies, the Mariote contingent in Andarig included, so the boy was probably a prisoner of war. Andarig fought in Numhaite territory, so it seems rather likely that the boy was a Numha. As prisoner of war, he was a slave, a Numha slave. Yamßum did not say that he returned him to Yasim-El, so he probably did not. Thus it appears that Haya-Sumu’s accusation was not completely groundless. Yamßum had in fact accepted one Numha slave, perhaps at other times one of two others, but not seven, as charged. Yamßum reported that Aqba-Ahum returned to Atamrum after his inquiry, not to his post in Kurda. Accordingly, he was in Andarig before he came to Ilan-Íura. He would have investigated the transfer of “the boy” of Yasim-El to Yamßum from the perspective of Andarig and returned to Andarig in order to wrap up the affair. We can even go one step further in the elucidation of the background of the affair by assuming that Aqba-Ahum was chosen for the mission because Hammu-Rabi of Kurda had complained about his Numha subjects turning up as slaves of Mariote officials. The relationship with Kurda was always a sore point for Mari, so Aqba-Ahum would have been ordered to follow up on Hammu-Rabi’s complaint. In his report, Yamßum refers to the instructions regarding his duties in Ilan-Íura that he received from Zimri-Lim in Silhan. Zimri-Lim stayed there late in ZL 8u on his way to the Mediterranean. Charpin concluded that the letter was written close to that date, which would make it one of the first reports of Yamßum. 118 The dating 118. See 26/2, 52.

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implies that Yasim-El was already in Andarig in late ZL 8u. Yet the group of YasimEl’s chronologically contiguous reports from Andarig begins in ZL 10u. Joannès, 26/ 2, 239, suggested an early short visit by Yasim-El to “Emutbal-Numha” with Atamrum as a solution to the discrepancy. It would follow that Atamrum was already king of Andarig, which contradicts indications that Atamrum became king of Andarig much later. 119 It is also known that Yasim-El was with Zimri-Lim in Ugarit in early ZL 9u, which makes it very difficult to find time for his presence in the Hilly Arc. The difficulties dissolve if we assume that Yamßum was referring in 26 302 to his initial instructions, more than a year before. He mentioned them, because he wanted the king to know that he had always followed his instructions, from the very moment they were given to him until the present time, when he was exonerated in the inquiry of Aqba-Ahum.

D. Back in the South In early ZL 10u, Simat-Huluris, holding Subat-Enlil for The Vizier after the departure of Kunnam, refused to believe that his compatriots had gone home after failing in their siege of Hiritum and abandoning their goal to lay siege to Babylon. But it was true. We will go back to the year ZL 9u in order to bring the events in the south up to this point in time. 33. Mariote Troops Come to Babylonia In the campaign season of ZL 9u, Hammu-Rabi of Babylon lost to the Elamites the city of Upi, which was his bridgehead on the Tigris. The city had belonged to Esnuna, so the conquest of Upi rounded off the Elamite conquest of the territory of Esnuna and was not an attack on the territory of Babylon. Yet it involved matching arms and may have represented a dress rehearsal for Elam’s goal of penetrating into the heart of the kingdom of Babylon and laying siege to the city of Babylon itself. Hammu-Rabi reckoned with the possibility of an immediate Elamite attack and ordered a general mobilization. Yet Elam did not press its success at the time and gave Hammu-Rabi the opportunity to strengthen the defense of his land by assembling allied troops. Already in late ZL 8u, when Elam involuntarily precipitated a thaw in relations with Larsa, he had sent high-level envoys to Larsa with a request for troops. They stayed longer than expected and eventually returned empty-handed. Hammu-Rabi hoped that the Esnunakeans would revolt against the Elamite occupiers and swell his ranks. But this hope did not materialize at that time either. Allied troops did come from Mari. They arrived in successive groups throughout the first half of ZL 9u. It represented a major effort on the part of Mari, important

119. See §48.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

enough to be celebrated in the name of the following year: “Zimri-Lim came to the assistance of Babylon.” Good information on the operation is contained in letters by Zimri-Addu. The king had ordered him to quit his post as governor in Qa††unan. The former governor, Zakira-Hammu, was called back, and Zimri-Addu was to serve with the rank of a general in the Babylonian campaign. The commander-in-chief of Mariote troops in Babylon was the pasture-chief Ibal-Pi-El. The two men, both stubborn people with large egos, did not get along well. When it came to rank, Zimri-Addu was a real stickler. At some point, he complained to the king about the amount of his food rations, and the king rebuked him for griping about such things. Zimri-Addu responded in 27 152 with more griping about hurt feelings, stemming from not being given food and drink rations appropriate to his rank. Ibal-Pi-El rubbed salt in ZimriAddu’s wound when he stated (as quoted in 27 151) that he would not have appointed him to a rank higher than foreman of ten. Ibal-Pi-El was not an easy man to get along with either, and Zimri-Addu was not the only one to complain about him. When Ibal-Pi-El served as pasture-chief, Hana had complained that he did not keep them informed about orders from the king (26 45). When he was in charge of the Mariote troops in Babylonia, the diviners accompanying the troops complained that he had turned them away from a seat at his table, as if they were mere division commanders (26 101). Zimri-Addu complained about him in the same terms at the end of his long letter, 27 151. The bickering, complaining, and denouncing of ZimriAddu, and Ibal-Pi-El’s contempt for Zimri-Addu became issues that prompted Sarrum-Íululi, one of the Mariote generals in Babylon, to inform Zimri-Lim in his letter 26 380 of the situation and its potential for creating a bad image of the Mariote army in Babylon. One of Zimri-Addu’s complaints in 27 151 was the handling of the roster with the names of soldiers under his command. On the occasion of the main muster of troops going to Babylon, which was conducted by Bahdi-Lim in Hanat, Ibal-Pi-El insisted on keeping the roster of soldiers under Zimri-Addu’s command locked under his seal. Yet Zimri-Addu needed access to the roster in order to make a roll-call in Babylon and compile a list of soldiers who were on furlough or had died on the way from Hanat to Babylon, as ordered by Bahdi-Lim in Hanat. In his complaint, Zimri-Addu enumerated his colleagues, the other generals, who kept the roster of soldiers under their command themselves and therefore were able to check on absentees. The enumeration provides us with detailed information of the build-up of Mariote troops in Babylon. A force of Suhean soldiers came first. Their arrival in Kullizi near the northern border of the kingdom of Babylon and their reception in Babylon were reported by Yarim-Addu, the Mariote ambassador, in 26 369. They numbered 600 and were led by Sakirum. Their arrival in Kullizi was roughly contemporaneous with the withdrawal of Babylonian troops from Upi, which is mentioned as news in the same letter and happened early in ZL 9u.

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The second contingent was commanded by Ibal-Pi-El and Zimri-Addu. It numbered 1,300 soldiers. They were soldiers of “the bank of the Euphrates” who came from the provinces of Mari, Terqa, and Saggaratum. 120 Zimri-Addu, having been governor of Qa††unan, may have brought troops from that province also, but this is never explicitly stated. If he did, the respective responsibilities of the two men would be clear: Ibal-Pi-El would have been commander of the troops from “the bank of the Euphrates,” and Zimri-Addu was commander of the troops from the province of Qa††unan. The exact date of their arrival is not known. Zimri-Addu was still at his post in Qa††unan when Askur-Addu entered Subat-Enlil, which happened shortly before the entrance of Kunnam into that city during the early part of IV 9u. Since Zimri-Addu’s letters from Qa††unan never mention Kunnam, it is likely that Zimri-Addu left in the short interval between Askur-Addu’s and Kunnam’s entrances during the 3d month. It is difficult to assess how much time elapsed before he arrived in Babylonia. He wrote Su-Nuhra-Halu, the king’s secretary, in 27 136 that he had not yet received the king’s letter that would introduce him to HammuRabi of Babylon. That might have taken some time. Then there were surely delays in assembling his troops. He was present at the muster of Bahdi-Lim in Hanat. This process also took some time. So Zimri-Addu may have arrived in Babylon during the 4th or 5th month. Ibal-Pi-El was in Babylon when the Hana soldiers arrived, which was before 8 V (see below). An episode of the enlistment of troops from the district of Terqa is included in reports of the governor of that district on his part in the effort (3 19 and 20). He delegated the enlistment to agents and limited his activity to having a master list written and sent to the king. 121 The king was not satisfied with the number of enlisted troops, and the governor had to defend himself. He mentions that he did not send agents to the Yamina in his district. The Yamina of Terqa were eventually drafted in ZL 10u for the second campaign to Babylon. 122 An episode involving enlistment in the district of Saggaratum is also known. Its governor, Yaqqim-Addu, handled his duty in an unusual manner. He delegated the enlistment to the mayors, their lieutenants, and the elders of the district. They were slow in following his orders. During a visit to Mari, the king must have told the governor to speed things up. Yaqqim-Addu assembled the tardy heads of his district on his return to Saggaratum and then reported on having confronted them with the fact that the whole country was already on the way to Babylon, and not only that, even troops from 120. See Joannès, “Les méthodes de pesée à Mari,” RA 83 (1989), 147, comment c. 121. In 3 19 he speaks of employing “agents city by city.” They enlisted troops in the 4 Simªal cities of the district. In 3 20 he mentions “3 agents” whom he had “stationed in the cities.” Perhaps the cities Himmaran and Hanna, which are attested least often in the documentation, were rather small places and could be handled by a single agent. 122. Soubeyran, 23, 362–64, included 3 19 and 20 in his documentation for the enlistment of Yamina troops for the Babylonian campaign despite the fact that the cities from which the governor enlisted troops had a Simªal population. Durand, LAPO 17, 175, follows Soubeyran.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Yamhad and Qa†anum who, owing to the much-greater distance of their lands from Babylon, would have a much better excuse to be as late as they (14 65). 123 The third contingent consisted of Hana troops led by Bahdi-Addu. Their arrival in Babylon is described by Ibal-Pi-El in A.486+. He had learned of it when he was returning with Hammu-Rabi from a trip to Kis. He invited Hammu-Rabi to meet the Hana troops. Hammu-Rabi agreed and gave them a grand reception. They dined in a garden, and the standard-bearers of the Hana paraded. Hammu-Rabi appeared happy and presented gifts to Bahdi-Addu and his commanders. It may have been this reception among other things that caused Bahdi-Addu to write Zimri-Lim in 2 118 that the mission was all “play and laughter.” The number and composition of Bahdi-Addu’s troops is detailed in administrative text 25 815, which registers the gifts they received in Babylon. The number of division commanders and lieutenants implies a nominal strength of 1,000 men, but only 804 reached Babylon. An episode involving the enlistment of these troops may be documented in 2 33, a letter from the pasture-chief Ibal-El. 124 He reported having informed the Hana mayors who did the enlisting about a message from Hammu-Rabi of Babylon requesting troops from Zimri-Lim and asked them to consult about it. Hammu-Rabi stressed in his message that he planned to meet Rim-Sin of Larsa and expected the support of Esnuna. He obviously wanted to assure the Mariotes that they would not be the only ones to share the burden of war with him. In doing so, he overstated what could be expected at the time. Larsa had not yet provided troops when the Elamites and Babylonians wrestled for control of Upi. There is also no evidence that Hammu-Rabi met with Rim-Sin. 125 Esnuna was still occupied by Elam, and its support could only materialize after a successful revolt against Elam, which HammuRabi expected. In the end, the mayors rounded up 800 troops, but it seemed unlikely that they would come up with the additional 200 that were requested of them. The king asked Bahdi-Lim to get together with the mayors and to dispatch the 800 men. Bahdi-Lim reported in 6 38+ that he dispatched these 800. The Hana arrived in Babylon before Ibal-Pi-El wrote 2 23, which he did before 8 V, when Babylonian troops departed for Mari. 126 The fourth and last contingent to be mentioned in 27 151 consisted of additional troops with a nominal strength of 500 men. They were led by Yantin-Erah. Bahdi-Lim reported on his appointment in 6 28: Yantin-Erah had approached him with a request to serve as general of the contingent. Bahdi-Lim was reluctant, because the number of soldiers did not justify a leader with the rank of a general. In Mari, a general commanded 1,000 men. 127 Yet there was no reasonable alternative 123. Soubeyran and Durand also include this letter in their documentation for the enlistment of Yamina troops. 124. For the date of this letter, see my note, NABU 2000 35. 125. The archives of neither ruler have been found, so this argument ex silentio is particularly weak. 126. See §36, phase 1. 127. This is documented clearly in A.486+.

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to appointing Yantin-Erah. So Bahdi-Lim recommended letting Yantin-Erah have his wish. He noted that a general leading 500 men was not unprecedented. After all, the Babylonians appointed generals for just 200 to 300 men. Once in Babylonia, Yantin-Erah would be subordinate to Zimri-Addu. 128 When did Zimri-Addu write 27 151? He mentions in a partly preserved context that he was stationed at Hiritum. The dramatic end-phase of the siege of this city, which Zimri-Addu described in other letters, is not mentioned. It is therefore likely that he wrote before the siege in early ZL 10u. He wrote it after the arrival of YantinErah with the additional troops. This did not happen before the 6th month, if 2 21 refers to these troops. 129 Accordingly, 27 151 was written in the 7th month or later that year. It follows that Mariote troop movements to Babylon spanned at least the first half of ZL 9u. Villard noted a geographical factor in the sequence of troop contingents. They came from areas ever farther from Babylonia: first from neighboring Suhum, then from the provinces of the Mari, finally from the areas in the north where the Hana were presumably recruited. 130 The magnitude of the undertaking can also be measured by the number of troops. The number of contingents was 600 Suheans under the command of Sakirum, plus 1,300 of the provinces under the command of Ibal-Pi-El and ZimriAddu, plus 1,000 Hana under the command of Bahdi-Addu, plus 500 reinforcements under the command of Yantin-Erah—in sum, 3,400 men. In 23 435, the number of soldiers under the command of Bahdi-Addu is given as 1,500. The additional 500 soldiers were probably commanded by a certain Yatti-Addu, who appears in this text as the recipient of gifts with values comparable to those of the other commanders. Since he and his troops are not mentioned in 27 151, they may have arrived after the letter was written. The total of the Mariote expeditionary corps of ZL 9u in Babylon would then have been 3,900 men. There is an intriguing passage about the quality of the troops from the banks of the Euphrates in a letter in which the governor of Terqa reports on the muster of troops from this district for the campaign to Babylon (3 19). The governor says that the sick and old and the members of the upper class (“gents”) stayed at home. The latter had provided a replacement, presumably their slaves. 128. The letter is particularly hard to understand. Durand’s interpretation and translation differ considerably from mine. He groups the text with 6 67, where Bahdi-Lim reports on having decided to let Yantin-Erah go at the head of the troops. While this seems to be the very topic treated in 6 28, Bahdi-Lim requests gifts for Yantin-Erah and a certain Inni-Han, “who goes before the Hana,” in 6 67. Yet this Inni-Han is not mentioned among the officers and troops of the campaign to Babylon, for whom gifts are registered in 23 435. Furthermore, Bahdi-Lim defers the decision of letting Yantin-Erah lead the additionals to Babylon to the king in 6 28, while he makes the decision himself in 6 67. I therefore believe that 6 67 refers to a different time in Yantin-Erah’s military career. Being the last pick may have been the story of Yantin-Erah’s military career. 129. For this possibility, see §36, phase 3. 130. Villard, “Parade militaire dans les jardins de Babylone,” FM 1 (1992), 144.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign 34. Reports of a Diviner Who Accompanied Troops Going to Babylonia

Troops on the march were accompanied by a diviner, who ensured safety en route. 131 One of the troop contingents marching down the Euphrates to Babylon was accompanied by the diviner Erib-Sin. He performed extispicies along the way and reported on them to the king. Erib-Sin’s first report is 26 95. It is a very short letter: A message from the pasture-chief in Suhum had arrived, instructing the troops to cross the Euphrates to Sa Hiddan, and 60 troops had already crossed. EribSin did not mention that he performed extispicies occasioned by the change of route and that the extispicies were sound, the route was deemed safe, and the first group of soldiers had crossed at the time the letter was written. The following letters from Erib-Sin do not leave out these details. The king’s secretary, Su-Nuhra-Halu, probably wrote him to be more explicit and not to forget to mention his extispicies, which were the reason for his being sent on this mission. Sa Hiddan should have been located on the west bank, opposite Hiddan, which was spelled Hindanu in later periods. 132 Presumably, the original plan had been for the troops to march down on the east bank, and it was for that route that extispicies had been performed in Mari. Safety throughout Suhum on the west bank was occasionally compromised by Suteans, but this should not have been a problem for troops. Some other consideration must have been the reason for the change. Erib-Sin’s next letter, 26 97, came from Hanat, where he performed extispicies for the route down to Sapiratum, as the king had instructed him in Mari. These instructions were given before the change of route. This means that the troops who crossed at Sa Hiddan re-crossed at, or upstream of, Hanat or that the original route included crossing to the east bank at, or upstream of, Hanat. The locations of Hanat and Sapiratum do not help clarify the question of west or east bank because these cities, or at least their central parts, were located on islands. For some reason, the troops had to stay in Hanat. The extispicies may have indicated danger, so they had to wait until the danger had passed; or they waited for another group of troops, or they had to be mustered before proceeding. The last alternative is most likely, because Erib-Sin ended his letter with the apparent result of a muster, reporting that 50 Hana troops had decided to take their leave before coming to Hanat because of a lack of provisions. Promises made by their division commander did not change their decision. If Erib-Sin was communicating this detail about the troops with whom he was marching, which is probable, then he was attached to the contingent of Hana led by Bahdi-Addu that arrived in Babylon in IV 9u. In the preserved part of 26 99, Erib-Sin reported that he had received instructions from Asqudum, a servant of the pasture-chief Meptum, to perform extispicies with a relatively short period of five days’ validity for the safety of a city whose name 131. See 26 17; 114; 404; 27 16. 132. The later spellings are probably hypercorrections, and the name was always pronounced Hiddan.

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is broken. When he arrived there, he performed the extispicies. Durand restores Sapiratum, and Charpin considers this restoration, which would place the text geographically between Erib-Sin’s stay in Hanat (26 97) and Yabliya (26 98). Divination for the city was not strictly part of Erib-Sin’s assignment. Meptum probably saw a potential threat to the city for a few days’ duration and used the services of the diviner. Letter 26 98 was written in Yabliya, a major city of Lower Suhum. The troops divided into two groups. Two hundred went with Meptum from Yabliya to Qaßa. Erib-Sin performed the extispicies for this route. He limited their validity to 15 days, and the outcome was favorable. Qaßa was located south of Id and may have been the southernmost locality in Mari-controlled Suhum. Erib-Sin’s colleague Dada performed the extispicies for another group, also of 200 men, who went by another route. The extispicies for the remaining 404 of the 804 Hana soldiers must have been performed by one or the other of four diviners who are attested in connection with the campaign to Babylon: Inib-Samas, Hali-Hadun, Ilsu-Naßir, and Kakka-Ruqqum. Hali-Hadun and Ilsu-Naßir accompanied the contingent commanded by Ibal-Pi-El and Zimri-Addu. The last understandable report, 26 100-bis, came from Halhala below Sippir— that is, either one of the two cities with that name. Erib-Sin performed extispicies for the safety of the troops, specifically for finding out whether Hammu-Rabi would “not catch, not kill, not cause to kill, not detain for evil or peaceful intentions” the troops and whether those who went out by the city gate of Mari would return and enter it alive. Both extispicies were favorable. The Mariotes saw actual combat in Babylonia, and it is therefore very unlikely that all returned. As so often, the divination was proved wrong by events. It did not invalidate their belief in divination, as is usually the case, given the nature of belief. 35. Support from Yamhad and Zalmaqum The Mariote envoy Abi-Mekim reported in 26 468 from Babylon on negotiations with Hammu-Rabi concerning unresolved issues in drawing the border between the kingdoms of Mari and Babylon. On that occasion, Hammu-Rabi expressed his satisfaction that Yarim-Lim of Halab, Zimri-Lim, and he had become allies and were now in a position to “pull the claw of that enemy (Elam) from the land.” Abi-Mekim stated that Zimri-Lim had been the one who “attached the (upper) land, all of it, to the alliance” and that he “went forth to fell fiend and foe and to pull his (the Elamite’s) claw from the land of Akkad.” Hammu-Rabi’s words must have been spoken not long before the death of Yarim-Lim between months III and VIII of ZL 9u, because only during the reign of his successor, also a Hammu-Rabi, are concrete results from this anti-Elamite alliance attested. In 28 12, a long letter to Hammu-Rabi of Babylon of which only a fragment containing the opening lines and some lines near the end have been identified, Zimri-Lim reported that this Hammu-Rabi of Halab had dispatched troops after repeated exhortations on his


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

part, and that these troops had now arrived in Mari. He also expected the kings of Zalmaqum to send troops, at least those of the lower, southern, part of that widespread country. Zalmaqean troops did come to Mari. They passed Qa††unan on the way and Governor Zakira-Hammu reported on it in 27 78–81. According to his two first letters, 2,000 troops of the king of Hanzat and 2,000 of Bunuma-Addu of Nihriya passed by. The governor was reproached by the king for not reviewing the troops and for giving inflated numbers, and he excused himself by saying that he intended to impress “fiend and foe.” In 27 80, his numbers sound more realistic: 800 men had come from the king of Suda and 400 from the king of Harran. Still, the 1,200 men are inexplicably totaled as “1,000 Zalmaqean troops.” Even if the earlier count of 4,000 was grossly inflated, the number of troops was considerable. The Zalmaqeans however did not go on to Babylon as Zimri-Lim promised in 28 12. The governor of Saggaratum reported in 14 76 on the arrival of Zalmaqean messengers, who were on their way south with the message that the troops of their land had been provided for Zimri-Lim but were not allowed to move on to Babylon. Yamhadean troops, on the other hand, did move on to Babylon, as we know from 2 71, a letter from the Mariote chief-musician Warad-Ilisu, who was staying in Halab at the time. He reported that the king of Halab was happy to have received the news that Zimri-Lim had sent his troops to Babylon. He quoted the king as having said, “Good! My brother (i.e., Zimri-Lim) dispatched my troops to Babylon.” In 14 75, the governor of Saggaratum reported on repeated disappearances of Yamhadean and Zalmaqean soldiers. A case in point is documented by Bahdi-Lim’s letter in 6 35: A, or the, Yamhadean general came to see Bahdi-Lim, informing him of the disappearance of four of his men. The king was in the vicinity of Terqa and Saggaratum at the time, so Bahdi-Lim asked him to make sure that the governors of the districts were informed. If 14 75 and 6 35 belong to the time under consideration, it follows that not all Yamhadean troops had moved on to Babylon. As already mentioned, the dispatch of troops by Hammu-Rabi of Halab resulted from an alliance between Babylon and Mari that Halab joined in the days of YarimLim, who died between III and VIII 9u. The Zalmaqean troops came to Mari later, but not by much. When they passed Qa††unan, the reporting governor was ZakiraHammu. This governor came back to replace Zimri-Addu when the latter went to Babylon during IV or V 9u. Accordingly, the Zalmaqean troops passed Qa††unan after that date. A letter by Ibal-Pi-El from Babylon, 2 21, confirms this date: information had been received in Babylon that 20,000 Yamhadean and Zalmaqean troops were marching against Atamrum toward Idamaraß. Hammu-Rabi of Babylon was puzzled by the news because he was under the impression that Zimri-Lim was moving against Atamrum. Zimri-Lim left for Razama at the end of V 9u. I would connect the events as follows: At the end of ZL 8u, when Elam planned its move against Babylon, Babylon planned its countermoves. Part of its plan was to include Halab in the alliance with Mari. Zimri-Lim convinced Yarim-Lim to join. The two kings had plenty of time to talk about details on their trip to the Mediterranean dur-

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ing early ZL 9u. Yarim-Lim brought the Zalmaqeans into the alliance. It was agreed that troops from the three northern powers would be sent to Babylon. Yamhadean and Zalmaqean troops may have been dispatched to Mari as early as III 9u, when Zimri-Lim was still in the west and Yarim-Lim was alive. The troops stayed in various locations in the kingdom of Mari. After Yarim-Lim’s death, some of the Yamhadean troops went on to Babylon. The Yamhadean troops remaining in Mari and the Zalmaqean troops joined Zimri-Lim when he marched against Atamrum at the end of V 9u. Their numbers were grossly overstated as the information made its way to Babylon. 133 It is possible that Qa†anum joined the alliance also. As already mentioned in §33, the governor of Saggaratum reproached leaders of his district for being tardy, while troops from Yamhad and Qa†anum were already underway to Babylon (14 65). He may have exaggerated a bit. The stance of Qa†anum at this time is actually unclear. Ishi-Addu, the king of that city, told Elamite diplomats that his land was in Elam’s hands and that the Elamites would not be “caught” if they came up (A.266). Yet his words may not have been more serious than those of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon when he promised the Elamites military help right before the outbreak of hostilities between the two powers. Qa†anum is also mentioned in 2 21, but the context is not recoverable. 36. Babylonian Troops Come to Mari It may seem strange at first sight that Babylonian troops were dispatched to the kingdom of Mari at the same time that Mariote troops were dispatched to the 133. Several other documents mentioning troops of Yamhad in Mari have been connected with the Babylonian campaign but appear to belong to a different time. (1) In 3 30, Kibri-Dagan reported about Yamhadean troops who arrived in his district of Terqa. Governor Kibri-Dagan wanted them to stay in a place called Mulhe, which according to the meaning of the name, “Salts,” was an unattractive location. They refused and camped out near Terqa. According to Kibri-Dagan’s letter 3 13, the previous governor, Sammetar, repeatedly requested the use of Yamhadean troops. They were the same troops, because Kibri-Dagan mentioned again that they refused to stay in Mulhe. Durand dated the letter in his new edition, LAPO 17 691, to the end of ZL 5u at the latest—Sammetar died at the beginning of ZL 6u (26/1, 576). He suggested that the troops came to help Zimri-Lim against the Yamina. He dated 3 30, which is LAPO 17 841, to the formation of the allied force going to Babylon in ZL 9u, but this is as unlikely as the connection with 3 13 is likely. (2) Governor Yaqqim-Addu reported the arrival of Yamhadean troops in Dur-Yahdun-Lim in 14 83. In the same letter, he described a conversation with the Yamina leader Íura-Hammu about the difficulties in organizing participation of Yamina in a campaign by Zimri-Lim. There was division among the leaders, and one of them wanted to harvest rather than go on a campaign. Lacambre believes that this must be the harvest of ZL 10u, because at this time the reluctance of the Yamina to participate in Zimri-Lim’s military assistance for Babylon is attested in several letters (“Hiritum,” 437–38). Yet at harvesttime in ZL 10u, Yamina troops were in fact going to Babylon (23, 428–29). Whichever harvest it was, a harvest date does not correspond to the middle of the year, when the Zalmaqean troops came to Mari in ZL 10u, as proposed.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

kingdom of Babylon, but such was the case. The feature of troop exchange between allies is actually well attested. Mariote troops were in Ilan-Íura while Ilan-Íurean troops were in Mari (§31). The king of Andarig suggested an exchange of troops with the king of Karana (26 394). He also sent 500 troops to Mari while a Mariote garrison was present in Andarig (26 404). The advantages of such arrangements are not quite clear. There was the danger that troops stationed with an ally would become cannon fodder, pawns, hostages, or prisoners of war. The troops were also unhappy to be stationed far from home, and flight seems to have been common. On the other hand, troop exchange between allies gave their alliance more cohesiveness, and that is likely to have been the principal reason, ranging the custom next to marriages between the ruling houses of allied powers and the elaborate oaths that were sworn in order to cement alliances. Alliances nevertheless were frequently broken, turning allied troops into prisoners of war, princesses into slaves, and oaths into crimes. The troop exchange between Mari and Babylon was a complex affair. The documentation appears to be quite good, but it is difficult to bring the sources into a convincing chronological and logical order. I distinguish four phases. (1) Mari was desperate for Babylonian troops to help control the situation in Idamaraß in the face of Elamite aggression and the occupation of Subat-Enlil, while Babylon was hesitant to shift troops to the north because it, too, was threatened by Elam. (2) Babylon recognized that Elam was applying more pressure in the north and sent troops to Suhum and farther north. (3) Babylon became apprehensive of troop concentrations under Mari’s command. (4) Babylon reversed itself again and sent additional troops to Mari. Phase 1. After having written Hammu-Rabi “once, twice,” Zimri-Lim sent a third message, which arrived in Babylon and was presented to Hammu-Rabi by IbalPi-El and Zimri-Addu. Ibal-Pi-El reported on the matter in 2 23. He and ZimriAddu renewed the request for an immediate dispatch of 10,000 Babylonian troops to Mari, the return of the 1,000 Hana troops whom Bahdi-Addu had brought to Babylon, and the dispatch of a third group of troops whose identity and number is lost in a break. Zimri-Lim needed the troops in order to put a stop to the growing influence of Elam in the north, a goal that Ibal-Pi-El diplomatically expressed as returning the kings of Hilly Arc and Northern Plains, who were lending their ear to Elam, to Hammu-Rabi’s side. If Zimri-Lim would march with his own troops and allied Babylonian troops to prop up the most important of these kings, HammuRabi of Kurda, the kings would stop lending their ear to Elam. Hammu-Rabi reacted cautiously and suggested waiting “5 days,” when he would review incoming reports, consult, and then act. The letter is, as usual, undated. It must have been written after the arrival of the Hana and before 8 V, when Babylonian troops would actually depart for Mari. 134

134. Durand’s interpretation and dating in LAPO 17 590 differ. See my note, NABU 2000 35.

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Phase 2. The Mariote envoy Abi-Mekim had come to Babylon to find a solution to the problem of the border between Babylon and Mari in Suhum. When it became clear after lengthy negotiations that this problem would not be solved at this time, Zimri-Lim ordered him back to Mari and asked him to bring back “the troops.” Abi-Mekim’s answer is 26 470. He mentioned three contingents of Babylonian troops. Two had already been dispatched, and he would lead the third in “5 days.” The first was led by the Mariote messenger Kalalum and his Babylonian companion, Puzur-Marduk. 135 The passage that describes their departure is partly broken and the extant text lacks information on the number or type of troops. The departure of this contingent from Babylon is probably the topic of Hammu-Rabi’s letter 6 54 to Bahdi-Lim. Hammu-Rabi said that he had dispatched troops with heavy gear to Zimri-Lim, noting that they had a long trip ahead of them. The note suggests that Mari was impatiently waiting for the arrival of these troops and that their destination was not just Suhum, beyond the border of the kingdom of Babylon. Hammu-Rabi also asked for news about Zimri-Lim and the siege of Razama, which means that Zimri-Lim was still on the way back from his journey to the Mediterranean, and the siege of Razama was in progress. The second contingent consisted of 5,000 troops and 600 small boats under the command of the Babylonian Nidnat-Sin and 3 Babylonian generals. It had been sent to Buqaqum, the mayor of Sapiratum, with the mission of securing Suhum. The third contingent, which AbiMekim expected to lead to Mari in five days, consisted of shock troops, but AbiMekim, who was in Babylon when the troops assembled “in [GN],” did not know their number. At the time, he wrote Meptum, who would be responsible for the safety of the troops on their march through Suhum. Meptum then wrote BahdiLim and Bahdi-Lim wrote the king in 6 34 on 8 V 9u that Babylonian troops had assembled in [GN], were headed for “our lord,” and were led by Abi-Mekim. Phase 3. Abi-Mekim did not leave in five days, but had to stay in Babylon for two more months. During this period, Ibal-Pi-El wrote 2 21, a long report, badly preserved, and difficult to understand. 136 It is mainly concerned with HammuRabi’s reaction to the message from Meptum on the 10,000 Yamhadean and 10,000 Zalmaqean troops that were on their way to Idamaraß to confront Atamrum. I mentioned in the last section that these were troops that had come to the kingdom of Mari. The numbers were probably grossly inflated, and the mission of the troops was wrongly generalized. We have seen that some of the Yamhadean troops actually went to Babylon and that the others stayed on Mariote territory. When Zimri-Lim 135. A dispatch of Kalalum and Puzur-Marduk from Babylon was mentioned by AbiMekim already in the first letter he wrote after arrival in Babylon (26 468). Abi-Mekim was detained in Babylon for some time (26 470), enough to give Kalalum and Puzur-Marduk the opportunity to make two round trips from Babylon to Mari. I assume that they returned from their first trip with Zimri-Lim’s message, which Abi-Mekim answered in 26 470. It was their second trip when they led Babylonian troops to Mari. 136. Durand wondered, in his note to the new edition of the text as LAPO 16 350, “what demon” caused Jean to publish this text in 1950 when it could not possibly be understood.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

departed for Razama he probably took some of these troops with him. Nevertheless, Hammu-Rabi was concerned that someone (Durand believes that it was HammuRabi of Kurda; I believe it was Zimri-Lim) would have more troops at his disposal than he. Hammu-Rabi of Babylon may also have known that the Elamite threat to Idamaraß was somewhat hollow, that Atamrum would switch sides before engaging in serious battle, or that the Esnunakean troops that were fighting under Elamite orders were on the verge of rebellion. In any case, he reverted to the more conservative strategy of concentrating the forces in his own land. Consequently, he insisted that Mari send to Babylon the balance of the troops that had been promised. These were the reinforcements, the 4th Mariote contingent, that would be brought down by Yantin-Erah (see §33). I date phase 3 to the 6th month, the time when news about Zimri-Lim’s preparations and/or departure for his campaign to Razama against Atamrum reached Babylon. Phase 4. Bahdi-Lim informed the king in 6 18, dated 8 VII, of the arrival of the Mariote envoy Isim-Ea and his Babylonian companion, Marduk-Nisu. Isim-Ea told him, “Abi-Mekim will take [ ].” I follow Durand’s convincing restoration “Abi-Mekim will take [their (that is the troop’s) lead].” This was the third contingent of Babylonian troops that Hammu-Rabi had finally dispatched. What changed Hammu-Rabi’s mind again? The threat of Atamrum was gone, the influence of Kunnam in Idamaraß was waning, the campaign season was drawing to an end. Perhaps he was afraid that the Elamites would concentrate their forces by rounding up as many soldiers as possible in Idamaraß, give up their occupation of Subat-Enlil and move south in preparation for a push in the direction of Babylon as soon as the weather would allow it in the coming campaign season. If so, Babylonian troops in Mari were in a position to keep the two parts of the Elamite army separate. Despite Hammu-Rabi’s instinct of concentrating troops in his kingdom, the investment of Babylonian troops in Mari had grown remarkably and surpassed that of Mariote troops in Babylon in the end. Mari sent at most 3,900 troops to Babylon. Babylon sent 5,000 troops and 600 small boats to secure Suhum and an unknown number led by Kalalum and later by Abi-Mekim. 37. Elamite Moves in ZL 9u Hammu-Rabi’s flip-flops in the matter of troop exchange with Mari would be easier to understand if we had better information regarding the diplomatic and military moves of Elam during mid-ZL 9u. We know something about what Elam did not do: It did not grant Atamrum’s request for additional troops for the siege of Razama, and it did not invade Mariote territory when Zimri-Lim marched on Razama, as Atamrum had suggested. Elam also did not invade Babylonian territory. The only military action that probably belongs to this period was an Elamite encounter with the Quteans. It is documented in Ibal-Pi-El’s letter 2 26. He reported that Elamite troops had returned from the land of the Quteans and that there were two rumors about the outcome. Some said that the Quteans prepared to fight when the Elamites

Back in the South


approached. Thereupon, the Elamites offered peace, which was accepted. Others said that the Quteans seized their own general, a woman, and delivered her to the Elamites. If the latter was true, the general must have been released, because she commanded troops again a year later (6 27). Quteans were valued as soldiers, and the Elamites may have gone to their land in search of more troops. As mentioned in §28, a Qutean contingent was part of the Elamite-led force that occupied SubatEnlil. Ibal-Pi-El wrote 2 26 from Babylon, where he stayed from at least V 9u on. At the height of the battle with Babylon early in ZL 10u, the Elamites would hardly have had time for the Qutean campaign. Later, it would not have been news. So the campaign should have taken place in ZL 9u. The land of the Quteans must be sought in the hills and mountains east of the Tigris, where campaigns would not have been timed for deep winter. So the event probably took place sometime between the 5th and the 8th month of ZL 9u. 137 38. Babylonian and Elamite Troops Move into Position Zimri-Addu reported in 27 140 that Babylonian troops had left the capital and stationed themselves “ªbelowº Sippir, toward Asa[-Sin], in the city of Namsi, to meet the [enemy]. And [they harvest] grain ªbetweenº Tigris and Irnina. And the troops of my lord and the Babylonian crossed (the Irnina) and. . . .” The geography of the area is relatively well known from the description of the northern provinces of the Ur III kingdom at the time of Ur-Nammu. 138 Accordingly, we know that Namsi was located on the left bank of the Irnina. 139 “Sippir” meant Great Sippir. 140 Zimri-Addu added that the Elamite army had crossed the Tigris at Mankisum and established a camp, which would have been on the west bank of the river. The exact location of Mankisum is not known. According to the Urbana itinerary, it was reached from the south after passing Kar Kakkulatim and Kar Samas. These cities were located on the Zubi, the western branch of the Tigris that joined the Irnina. 141 137. This date is feebly confirmed by a possible mention of [SAL N]a-wa-ri-[tum] in 26 470 by Abi-Mekim, a letter that was written in V 9u. 138. Edited by F. R. Kraus as “Provinzen des neusumerischen Reiches von Ur,” ZA 51 (1955), 45–75. 139. See Kraus’s text A III 12–22 and P. Steinkeller’s map in “On the Reading and the Location of the Toponyms URxU.KI and A.HA.KI,” JCS 32 (1980), 33. 140. So, according to a passage in the unpublished letter A.1873, as communicated by Charpin in “Sippar: Deux villes jumelles,” RA 82 (1988), 17 n. 22. It follows that Great Sippir was located on the Irnina, not the Zubi, as Charpin assumed on the basis of a map published by Gibson, which in turn is based on an unproved hypothesis of T. Jacobsen. 141. The indirect linkage of the Euphrates and Tigris systems appears to have allowed boat traffic between Mankisum and the two Sippirs, according to UET 5 685. W. F. Leemans, Foreign Trade in the Old Babylonian Periods Revealed by Texts from Southern Mesopotamia” (Leiden, 1960), 170–71, thought that payment of a marsh fisherman (su-HA apparim) on the leg between Mankisum and Namsi in that text indicated that the route crossed a marsh.

Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign


When Zimri-Addu wrote 27 140, the Elamites were staying in their camp, and he did not know in which direction they would move—north to Situllum and Ekallatum, west to the head of the Euphrates Delta and on to Suhum, or south to Babylon. The fact that Mariotes and Babylonians were stationed at Namsi on the Irnina indicates that Hammu-Rabi knew what Zimri-Addu did not know, namely, that the Elamites intended to march to the Irnina. Hammu-Rabi ordered his generals Nidnat-Sin and Ilan-Semea to bring their troops down to the Irnina, informing Buqaqum in Suhum (28 6). These were the 5,000 men that Hammu-Rabi had dispatched in V 9u (see §36). They probably came down to the Irnina on the 600 small boats that had been sent with them. Several administrative documents dated to II 10u register gifts for Babylonian troops and Nidnat-Sin and his generals on the occasion of their departure for the Irnina. 142 We cannot be sure that the date of the records coincides exactly with the date of the transactions recorded in them. They left before the date of 24 94, which is unfortunately broken. Expenditures for Babylonian Troops and Their Leaders Date



9 II 10u

23 564

expenditure of wine for dinner of Babylonians

9 II 10u

23 565

expenditure of wine for Babylonian generals when they received their gifts

9 II 10u

23 566

expenditure of wine as gift for Babylonian troops

29 II 10u

21 100

honey for Babylonian generals Nidnat-Sin, Nuham-Ili, Apil-Ilisu, Ahi-Lumur


24 94

goblets for Babylonian generals when they departed with NidnatSin


39. Isme-Dagan Joins Coalition against Elam The unknown writer of A.3669+ mentions that Zimri-Lim motivated Ekallatum and Andarig to change sides from Elam to the Mariote-Babylonian alliance and that this change was a factor in the eventual defeat of the Elamites. An episode of Zimri-Lim’s initiative with respect to Ekallatum is documented. Next to the registration of gifts for the Babylonian generals in 24 94, this entry is found: “6 . . . goblets that Napsi-Erah brought to Ekallatum as wanted items of the palace (in Ekallatum).” A man by that relatively rare name, who is likely the same person, was sent by Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El from Ekallatum to Qabra, farther east. Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El were in Ekallatum on a mission to make arrangements for a trip to Mari by Isme-Dagan. They reported on it in 26 489. Having come from the south, Buqaqum from Suhum and Ibal-Pi-El from Babylon, they first went to Assur. The 142. I cannot explain the absence of Ilan-Semea in 21 100.

Back in the South


news in Assur was about events in the east, about Kakmum and Qabra. This was also the talk in Ekallatum, when they met with Isme-Dagan. There was disagreement on the actions of some Quteans, and Isme-Dagan contradicted Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El. Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El speculated that he had reacted emotionally to something Zimri-Lim had said and were not sure about Isme-Dagan’s truthfulness. There was distrust on both sides, as could be expected. The Mariotes found IsmeDagan in bad physical shape and predicted that he would not be able to make the trip even if his son Mut-Askur and a man named Lu-Nanna 143 would come up to bring him to Mari. If the writer of A.3369+ was correct (his letter praises Zimri-Lim so lavishingly that the veracity of its statements are not beyond doubt), the Mariotes succeeded in bringing Isme-Dagan into the Babylonian-Mariote alliance against Elam in the end. As mentioned, Buqaqum dispatched Napsi-Erah from Ekallatum to Qabra. He also dispatched a certain Samas-Lamassasu to Kawilhum, a city of Sasiya. Their mission was presumably to bring the kingdom of Qabra and the Turukkeans into the alliance, too. The mission to Ekallatum has been dated differently by Lackenbacher and Durand on the basis of 2 119, which is the first report by Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El from their mission in Ekallatum. The text is badly preserved and does not provide an intelligible text beyond the fact that the writers announced their arrival in Ekallatum. A “son of Samu-Addu” whose name ends with the element “Addu” is mentioned at the end of the letter. It gave rise to Munn-Rankin’s idea that Askur-Addu, the king of Karana, was the son of Samu-Addu, who was governor of Samsi-Adad in Karana and presumably its earlier king. Lackenbacher accepted the idea (26/2, 406) and dated the mission of Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El in Ekallatum to the time when AskurAddu became king, which happened not long before IX 10u. In my opinion, there is good evidence to the effect that Askur-Addu was not Samu-Addu’s son, and so I do not feel bound to Lackenbacher’s dating. Durand connected 2 119 with 2 45, which he re-edited as LAPO 16 373. That text belongs to the time after Íilli-Sin became king of Esnuna, but it is a report by Bahdi-Lim about a mission to Ekallatum taken by Ishi-Addu, not by Buqaqum and Ibal-Pi-El. 40. Siege of Hiritum Hammu-Rabi guessed well or was informed well, when he stationed troops in Namsi. It turned out that the confrontation on the Irnina concentrated on the siege of Hiritum, a city not far upstream. Documentation for the beginning of the siege is missing. The earliest report is 27 141, in which Zimri-Addu described a situation after the Elamites had lost one of their two siege towers. Fortunately, Zimri-Addu repeated information from his previous letter: The tower had stood on the “lower fringe,” possibly the pathway between the wall and the river. It was probably set up at the corner from which one stretch of the wall ran along the river and the other 143. According to Charpin and Durand, “Assur,” 391, comment b, he was the foreign minister of Isme-Dagan.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

ran away from the river, and next to the edge of the earthen ramp of the besiegers that was heaped up for about 120 m from that corner and away from the river. The defenders managed to burn this tower. The new information in the letter concerned the defense against the remaining tower and the earthen ramp from which the enemy attempted to gain access to the top of the city wall. In an effort to thwart the Elamites, the defenders constructed a contraption called luªu hamannu. It fronted the earthen ramp and allowed the defenders to elevate their wall and thus maintain the advantage of fighting from above. It was constructed of earth, presumably a pack of earth heaped up on top of the wall to gain height. They could have added layers of brick, but they may not have had sufficient time. Packed earth could be put in place faster, but it would have needed braces to prevent the earth from spilling over the edge of the wall and giving way under the feet of the defenders. Perhaps the mysterious luªu hamannu were such braces. 144 Zimri-Addu concluded his report on an upbeat note: the Babylonians confidently said, “the enemy will not be able to do anything to this city.” In 27 142, he reported on an episode in which Mariote troops were stationed opposite the tower and the ramp. Helped by Babylonians, they succeeded in pushing the enemy off the ramp. The next day, the enemy was having difficulty with the top of its ramp and a fire was burning in front of the tower. 145 There was talk that the Elamites would be unable to replace their last tower. Ibal-Pi-El reported in 2 30+ on the last phase of the siege. 146 The braces are again mentioned, this time in connection with the measure of “3 cubits, 4 cubits,” which may be their height. Ibal-Pi-El was concerned that they could be toppled by the battering ram. When the Elamites realized that their ramp did not gain them access to the crown of the wall because of the earthen pack and because their ramp was deteriorating as one end was washed into the river, and that they also could not cross the Irnina and so outflank the city, their only course of action was retreat. In the eyes of contemporary analysts, it was the ingenious braces that carried the day. The unknown writer of A.3669+ reported on the situation after the Elamite retreat: “Hammu-Rabi went to Hiritum, and he went repeatedly along both braces. Larsean messengers and allied messengers of my lord went with him, and he

144. As already suggested in my note, NABU 1997 103. 145. It is very unfortunate that the passage is not fully preserved, because it obviously describes problems with the use of the humudaya, which Durand translates as “gangways” and I as “leaners.” I am not convinced that gangways were used, because the method of physically getting to the top of the wall from outside was an earthen ramp. I assume that humudaya is connected with emedum “to lean,” and that they are the uprights of a siege tower. The problem with the top of the earthworks may have been that the earth slid down and pressed against the uprights of the tower until they gave way. Streck, Amurriter 1, 99, adduces cognates that also suggest a vertical feature. He thinks of “leaners” as ladders leaned against the wall. 146. The letter is difficult to understand because of the poor state of preservation and because the topics do not seem to have been treated in their proper chronological order, which is a common feature of Mari letters. The second topic of his letter is probably what happened first.

Back in the South


had them shown the interior of the city and the wall.” Zimri-Addu reported in 27 145 that the contraption was dismantled a short time later. 41. During the Siege of Hiritum Zimri-Addu reported in 27 141 at the time when the siege of Hiritum was in full swing that one group of Babylonian troops burned the harvest on Esnunakean territory and another, consisting of 3,000 Babylonian and 2,000 Mariote troops, operated at the head of the Euphrates Delta in the vicinity of Sa Baßim. This group was led by Ibal-Pi-El. The troops had pitched camp on the east bank of the Euphrates opposite Sa Baßim. They made a foray from that camp, but word had reached the enemy and they returned empty-handed, much to the dismay of the brass back in Babylon, who wondered how 5,000 troops could be so unsuccessful. At the time of Zimri-Addu’s letter, a second foray was scheduled to last ten days. Ibal-Pi-El’s failure was of course sweet music to Zimri-Addu’s ears. He could not refrain from telling the king that he had given Ibal-Pi-El advice to consult extispicies next time. The unsuccessful operation is also mentioned in A.3669+. According to this source, the number of Babylonian troops was 4,000, and their mission was stopping an expeditionary corps of Elamites on its way to The Vizier in Hiritum. Marching to Hiritum and passing in the vicinity of Sa Baßim means that these troops came from farther up north. I believe that they were the Elamite troops with whom Kunnam left Subat-Enlil, including the allied contingents of Idamaraßean kings. The unknown writer of A.3669+, who was certainly a Mariote, said that Ibal-Pi-El had suggested ambushing the Elamites but that his idea was not accepted, and the Babylonian troops retreated. The writer, sounding apologetic, expressed his view that a bad situation could have been worse without the involvement of Ibal-Pi-El and BahdiAddu. If indeed the Babylonian-Mariote task force failed to stop Elamite and allied troops coming from Subat-Enlil from augmenting the Elamite forces besieging Hiritum, it must have been a major military setback for Babylon. There are two letters from Ibal-Pi-El that may refer to the aftermath of the affair. In A.522+:19u–29u 147 he quoted an order by Hammu-Rabi that may be understood as a redeployment of the Babylonian-Mariote taskforce. Its mission was now “to close the Irnina” 148 and to make sure that Mariote troops would cross to the west bank and stay in Sippir-ofSamas (Abu Habba). Ibal-Pi-El, following Hammu-Rabi’s order, crossed with his troops below Sa Baßim and positioned himself in Sippir-of-Samas. In 2 22, Ibal-PiEl reported on a conversation in which Hammu-Rabi addressed the debacle of the Babylonian-Mariote task force. Hammu-Rabi spoke of shock troops that went to attack a marching column of the enemy but failed because “there was no bridge for 147. Quoted by Charpin in “Sippar: Deux villes jumelles,” RA 82 (1988), 18 n. 25. 148. It is not likely that the interruption of the flow of the Irnina is meant, which could hardly be accomplished, and would render the crossing to the east bank pointless. Perhaps the phrase means preventing the Elamites from crossing.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

use in laying an ambush.” Instead, they should have used light troops and kept themselves informed about the position of the enemy at all times. Hammu-Rabi’s example reveals the nature of Ibal-Pi-El’s failure: Ibal-Pi-El was moving cumbersomely with his 5,000 heavily armed troops and their gear to intercept the enemy, who was marching downstream on the other side of a watercourse. Yet without a pontoon bridge in place, which would have allowed them to cross quickly, and without knowledge of how far downstream the enemy really was, he never had an opportunity to set up a position ahead of the enemy. 149 Still in 2 22, Ibal-Pi-El reported of having dispatched Sakirum with 300 troops to Sa Baßim. They operated alongside 300 Babylonian troops and secured the important Euphrates crossing after the force led by Ibal-Pi-El was redeployed farther south. The contemporaneousness of operations at the head of the Euphrates Delta, the linkup of Kunnam’s troops with the Elamite forces in Babylonia, the Babylonian raid on Esnunakean territory, and the siege of Hiritum show that the war between Elam and Babylon was fought on a number of fronts. When Kunnam withdrew from Subat-Enlil, the Elamites effectively shortened their front line and focused more on Babylonia. But it was too little too late. 42. Date of the Siege of Hiritum Charpin argued for dating the battle of Hiritum to ZL 10u on the basis of the following considerations: Hammu-Rabi named his 30th regnal year after a victory over Elam. The Elamite withdrawal from Babylonia was certainly the outcome of this victory. Since the year-name reflects an event in the previous year, the victory must have occurred in Hammu-Rabi 29, which likely corresponds to ZL 10u. 150 In the second paragraph of 27 141, Zimri-Addu reported that Babylonian troops made an incursion into Esnunakean territory, where they burned grain. The ideal time for burning grain is after reaping, when it is bundled in sheaves on the fields. Before reaping, the plants may look dry but are green inside and do not burn well; and after threshing, it is difficult to burn grain. At the time of the letter, the siege of Hiritum had not yet ended. Lacambre, using a wide array of documentation comes to the same conclusion. 151 The most accurate indication is provided by 21 100 (see §38). Its date of 29 II 10u is approximately contemporaneous with the Elamite troop movements from Mankisum to Hiritum. So the siege would fall into the 3d month, when some grain was drying on the fields, while other grain was already being threshed. 149. Since Ibal-Pi-El was on the east bank of the Irnina and the Elamites intended to join their army, which was also stationed on the east side of the Irnina, Hammu-Rabi’s example and Ibal-Pi-El’s dilemma can only be strictly parallel if there was a watercourse east of the Irnina on whose east bank the Elamites were marching south. 150. Charpin, “Elamites,” n. 49. Note that this dating supersedes his dating of the battle to ZL 9u in the introduction to chap. 2 of 26/2. 151. Lacambre, “Hirîtum,” 432–39.

Back in the South


43. Elamite Withdrawal The Elamites had come to an impasse before Hiritum. They were unable to overcome the defenses of the city and they were unable to cross the Irnina, which was the last natural obstacle on the way to Babylon. They could also see that the Babylonians had taken the initiative in the territory of Esnuna, which was to their rear. These factors alone may have been enough to force the Elamites to retreat. There were also adverse political developments. Isme-Dagan of Ekallatum and Atamrum had changed allegiance from Elam to Mari. The writer of A.3669+, who reported this fact, stated his belief that this change was in fact the real reason for the retreat and that Hammu-Rabi could not have forced the Elamite retreat without Mariote troops. But the view of this flatterer probably distorted reality in proportion to his intent of ingratiating himself with the king. According to Ibal-Pi-El’s letter 2 30+, the first stage of Elamite disengagement from Hiritum was retreat in the direction of Kakkulatum. Ibal-Pi-El’s concern was that the Elamites would veer to the west and turn on Suhum: “I am afraid 10 thousand will go out, and he (the enemy) will dispatch (these) 10 thousand ªtroopsº, and they will start an uprising in Suhum.” He sent a reconnoiterer to check on the enemy and to warn Meptum in Suhum in writing as soon as he saw “a trace” of evidence that the Elamites intended to march on Suhum. Ibal-Pi-El also dispatched a force of 30 Suheans to Kakkulatum and instructed their leader to inform him and Zimri-Lim if the enemy headed upstream from Kakkulatum. He himself took the steppe route, possibly a route between the Euphrates and the Tigris, which would have allowed him to bar the way to the Elamites in case they decided to march up the Tigris from Kakkulatum and turn west across the Tharthar depression above the extensive salt marshes into which the Tharthar River empties. Zimri-Addu was still in the camp by, or in, Hiritum at the time and wrote the king from there that the enemy had taken the route to Kakkulatum. The letter is probably 27 144, which is mostly destroyed. Zimri-Lim fortunately repeated the information in his next letter, 27 145. At that time, the Babylonians were removing the earthworks on and in front of the wall of Hiritum. The enemy had reached the Zubi opposite Kakkulatum, crossed the river, regrouped, and destroyed the city. A recently published excerpt from the unpublished Epos of Zimri-Lim indicates that the retreat to Kakkulatum was disastrous for the Elamite army: “. . . the Elamite troops from Kuzabat until Kakkulatum. On the route on which the enemy went, on the right of the road and the left, was there 1 thousand a corpse that was dead? And donkeys (even) more than humankind that had fallen, and lance, its blade taken, and its handle dropped, unspeakably (much).” 152 Remarkably, the only possible reference to a rout in Zimri-Addu’s letter 27 145 is his expression “regrouped.” ZimriAddu added that the work-detail, that is the men who had heaped up the ramp, had been released from duty and was on the way to Elam, and that 30,000 troops of The 152. Guichard, “Guerre,” 46.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Vizier, consisting of 10,000 Elamites and 20,000 Esnunakeans (27 147), were marching upstream toward Mankisum. Zimri-Addu was told that The Vizier would stay in Mankisum and dispatch troops from there to Ekallatum. A little later, Zimri-Addu’s troops moved from the camp in Hiritum north to Great Sippir (Tell ed-Der) and Zimri-Addu sent letter 27 146. It contains no new information on the Elamites. By the time of the next letter, 27 147, The Vizier had actually dispatched the 30,000 troops “to the land of Subartum.” At that time, the Esnunakeans finally took concrete steps to disengage themselves from the Elamites and asked Hammu-Rabi for assistance. In the third letter, 27 148, Zimri-Addu reported on information that had been elicited from Elamite informers: There were now just 5,000 Elamite troops accompanying the 20,000 Esnunakean troops. Their destination was Situllum, the southernmost city in Ekallatean territory. The troops were supposed to lay siege to the city and to inform The Vizier when the city was surrounded; he would then join them with the remainder of his troops that had been left in the camp opposite Mankisum. Nothing seems to have come of the siege of Situllum, at least nothing more was said about it. The Vizier stayed in Esnuna. The only information about this time is 26 361, a letter from Yarim-Addu in Babylon. It was expected there that The Vizier would withdraw to Elam. In reaction to his continued stay in Esnuna and in an action that would please the restive Esnunakeans, Hammu-Rabi tightened the screws on the Elamite messengers who were still marooned in Babylon. He had planned earlier to let them go. Now they were put under guard in their rest houses. The Vizier finally left Esnuna, but not without looting the city (26 377). Zimri-Addu took up the story in 27 149. When The Vizier reached Diniktum, the war was over for Babylon, and Hammu-Rabi released the Elamite messengers. His escort, who went with the messengers, had a message for The Vizier in which Hammu-Rabi mentioned that the Esnunakeans had revolted in the end; then gleefully, and somewhat uncharacteristically, he added, “I told you so.” 44. A New King in Esnuna Sarrum-Íululi, leader of a Mariote troop contingent in Babylonia, reported in 26 377 that the Esnunakean troops “installed a king of their own” while The Vizier was en route between Diniktum and Elam. He characterized the new king this way: “That man is a commoner. [He is not] ªson ofº nobility. His name is ªÍilli-Sinº. He is a division commander.” This development put an end to the vacuum that had developed when the Elamites retreated from Esnuna and led to suggestions that ZimriLim or Hammu-Rabi of Babylon step in to control Esnuna directly. According to A. 257 it was Zimri-Lim who suggested to Hammu-Rabi to rule Esnuna himself or, in case the Esnunakeans disagreed, to choose a noble Esnunakean from among those staying in exile in Babylon and appoint him king. But Ibal-Pi-El, the writer of the letter, knew already that a division commander (he may not yet have known his

spread is 1 line short = 12 points

Back in the South


name) had been, or would be, chosen. 153 Dossin connected this incident with A.2741, a letter in which the Uprapean leader Atamrel urged Zimri-Lim “not to release Esnuna from his hand.” 154 Atamrel stressed that the mayors and pasture-chiefs of the Yamina pasturalists agreed with him and had on their part suggested that Zimri-Lim should install a nobleman in Esnuna if relations with the Esnunakeans were not to his liking. In case this was not an option, Zimri-Lim should “return Esnuna to his hand.” This letter may have been written at the time Ibal-Pi-El sent letter A.257 but before the news of the installation of Íilli-Sin had reached Atamrel. 155 45. A New Order In 26 377 Sarrum-Íululi expressed his expectation that Hammu-Rabi would be happy to hear of Elam’s withdrawal from Esnuna. A serious threat was gone, but the rise of a new kingdom of Esnuna in the summer of ZL 10u must have caused concern. A few years earlier, Esnuna had been enough of a threat for Elam, Babylon, and Mari to form an alliance against it. Esnuna would need some time to overcome the results of occupation and looting. But it was capital of a populous and agriculturally rich land in a central location and would soon be a major player in Mesopotamia again. In 26 372, Yarim-Addu reported from Babylon on Hammu-Rabi’s moves. They responded to, and helped shape, the new order of ZL 10u. It is a very long letter, reviewing the result of initiatives that Hammu-Rabi had just undertaken, in panoramic fashion. It is divided by rulings into three sections that treat the state of affairs with Esnuna, Larsa and the eastern kingdoms that had sprung up in the wake of the Elamite withdrawal, and Andarig in the north. Elam is not mentioned anymore. Esnunakean messengers had arrived. Hammu-Rabi, having received their message, about whose contents Yarim-Addu is silent, appointed envoys to return with them to Esnuna and gave them “the small tablet.” Yarim-Addu expected Íilli-Sin, the new king of Esnuna, to commit himself to the text of this tablet. Íilli-Sin would then send his “small tablet” to Hammu-Rabi who would commit himself to its text. In a second stage, Hammu-Rabi would send the “large tablet” with the final text of a treaty. Íilli-Sin would swear to abide by it. Finally Íilli-Sin would send his “large tablet” to Hammu-Rabi, who would swear to abide by it. In this manner, the kings would establish ties between them. Examples of “small” and “large tablets” are 153. See Lacambre, NABU 1994 76. 154. Dossin, “Madarum,” 54. 155. For a reinterpretation of A.2741, see my note, NABU 1998 59. Durand, NABU 1998 94, rejected my interpretation and dating without offering an alternative explanation for the essential point, which is that the period between the retreat of Elam and the enthronement of Íilli-Sin was the only time when Atamrel’s suggestion made sense. The difference in interpretation is the result of different a priori assumptions. Durand assumes that Atamrel died in the war between Mari and the Yamina and thus cannot appear in ZL 10u. I assume that A.2741 must be dated to ZL 10u, demonstrating that Atamrel was still alive then.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

known 156 but not a matching small and large pair. They were formulated unilaterally, producing a text to which the addressee, but not the author, committed himself. Thus the texts of the small and large tablets of the king of Esnuna and HammuRabi were different, and reciprocity was established by the exchange of the texts. 157 Relations with Larsa had significantly deteriorated since the winter of ZL 8u, when Rim-Sin and Hammu-Rabi exchanged letters received from The Vizier. At the time of 26 372, Larsa was making raids on Babylonian territory. There were no Babylonian envoys in Maskan-Sapir, and the messengers of Rim-Sin in Babylon had been locked up, which meant that Babylon considered itself at war with Larsa. In contrast, relations with Malgum flourished. This kingdom on the road from Esnuna to Elam reappeared as soon as the Elamites withdrew. Messengers of its King IpiqEstar and Hammu-Rabi shuttled back and forth. The kingdom of Der, located on the same route and closer to Elam, also reappeared, and the messengers of the king of Der were expected, but had not yet arrived. In the north, Hammu-Rabi was cultivating relations with Atamrum. He had sent two envoys, who brought Atamrum a message, gifts, and a “tablet of a sacred oath.” Atamrum questioned the fact that additional gods by whom to swear and additional words to which to commit were written into the text. He also quoted one issue of the tablet verbatim. It contains Hammu-Rabi’s text of his (Atamrum’s) selfcommitment to treat the enemies of Babylon as his enemies and honor the peaceful relations that Babylon entertained with other kingdoms. A case in point were the Esnunakean troops that had come under Atamrum’s control after his conquest of Subat-Enlil. Atamrum reported in his letter to Hammu-Rabi that he was committed to their safety and that they were free to pass from his territory to Ekallatum. Thereupon, Hammu-Rabi wrote Isme-Dagan to expect arrival of these troops and to send them home to Esnuna. Bahdi-Lim mentioned in 6 70 that “Isar-Lim ªtook the leadº of . . . the Esnunakean troops.” Isar-Lim was an official of Isme-Dagan, so the statement probably refers to the cooperation of Ekallatum in the repatriation. 158 Hammu-Rabi’s show of good will would have made it easier for Esnuna to accept the planned treaty with Babylon. 46. Renewal of Relations with Elam The war between Elam and Babylon had threatened the existence of HammuRabi’s kingdom, but as soon as it was over, Hammu-Rabi relaxed his stance. When the retreating Vizier arrived in Diniktum, Hammu-Rabi released the Elamite messengers in Babylon from custody and sent a messenger of his own to The Vizier (27 156. Examples of small tablets are M.6435+ and A.96. A large tablet is A.361, which is edited by Charpin in “Traité,” 140–45. 157. The process is described by Charpin in 26/2, 144–45. 158. Some Esnunakean troops were still in Andarig at the time of Habdu-Malik’s mission there at the beginning of ZL 11u. He reported in 26 389 that they had been relocated to a ruined settlement and were complaining about it.

Back in the South


149). The Vizier reciprocated immediately, admitting wrong and proposing a renewal of relations (27 150). When he was back in Elam and the kingdoms of Esnuna, Malgum, and Der had sprung up in his wake, he sent an embassy to Babylon. Yarim-Addu reported on the trip of the Elamite messengers in 26 373. The Dirites conducted them through their land from the Elamite border to the border of Malgum, and the Malgites conducted them to Babylon. But when the messengers wanted to return, they found that the Esnunakeans blocked their way. 159 The motive of Esnuna is clear: once an alliance between Babylon and Elam had brought down the last kingship of Esnuna, the new king could not have been comfortable with close relations between these powers. Hammu-Rabi on the other hand was interested in a renewal of relations with Elam. He did not like The Vizier personally, as we know from his reaction to The Vizier’s death, but he was a rational man. Elam still had much to offer. It had tin, and Babylon looked at the rise of a new Esnunakean kingdom with apprehension. It was always possible that Esnuna would become a threat to Babylon again and make another alliance with Elam desirable. Seeing that the normal route to Elam was blocked by Esnuna, Hammu-Rabi sent his messengers through an area of Esnunakean territory that had been abandoned and lay waste. They reached Elam without crossing the territories of Malgum and Der, most likely by rounding the north end of the Pusht-i-Kuh and following that mountain range along its northeast flank. The episode demonstrates that there was no direct route between Susa and Babylon at the time. The obstacle may have been a physical barrier of marshlands or the bad relations between Babylon and Larsa. 160 Yarim-Addu also reported that Babylonian relations with Malgum had intensified. Hammu-Rabi propped up the kingdom with 120 pounds of silver, a sizable sum, and 70 bushels of grain, a sizable amount. Clearly, a viable kingdom of Malgum meant much to Hammu-Rabi. It had a common border with Esnuna and with Larsa, the potential and actual rivals of Babylon. The king of Malgum, Ipiq-Estar, “touched his throat for Hammu-Rabi.” The text of his commitment is not known. Yarim-Addu finally mentioned a rumor that a Babylonian contingent of 6,000 troops, a sizable force, would be leaving the next month for Ekallatum. Their mission was, according to his source, to deal with the current enemies of Ekallatum— Sasiya, the king of the Turukkeans, and the unnamed king of Qabra. 47. Mariote Troops Return Home With Elam’s withdrawal from southern Mesopotamia, Mariote troops had ended the mission for which they had come to Babylonia and returned to their land, or so I interpret the sources. According to current opinion, the troops stayed on in Babylonia, supported Hammu-Rabi in his war against Larsa, and were kept there 159. Esnuna probably controlled land between Malgum and Der. 160. During the Ur III period, a much-traveled route led from Girsu in southern Mesopotamia through Sabum to Susa.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

still after the fall of Larsa. 161 I believe that the troops, at least those commanded by Yantin-Erah, Bahdi-Addu, Zimri-Addu, and Ibal-Pi-El, returned in ZL 10u, and that Zimri-Addu and Ibal-Pi-El went down to Babylonia for a second time with fresh troops in ZL 11u to participate in the war against Larsa. My reconstruction is based on a passage in 27 162. In that letter, Zimri-Addu tells about a certain Kapi-Dagan, who did something against Mari’s interest in Babylon and was entrusted to YantinErah by Ibal-Pi-El and Zimri-Addu to be taken to Mari “with the first troops.” Partway there, Kapi-Dagan, who was afraid of being punished, managed to return to Babylon, but “we (that is, Ibal-Pi-El and Zimri-Addu) did not know that that boy ªhad returnedº to Babylon until we reached Mari.” Zimri-Addu wrote 27 162 from the area of Larsa, where he was stationed after the fall of the city in ZL 11u. The reference to “the first troops” implies that other troops had returned to Mari as part of the same overall troop movement. I assume that Zimri-Addu and Ibal-Pi-El were leading the troops under their command when they went to Mari after Kapi-Dagan escaped, and they then returned to Babylonia to assist in the war against Larsa. 162 Nothing further is known about the return of Yantin-Erah and his recruits. But some details about the return of Ibal-Pi-El are known. They come from a series of letters by Buqaqum and from three letters by Ibal-Pi-El himself. In 26 488, Buqaqum relayed information from a group of persons on their way to Mari to the effect that Hammu-Rabi had promised to dispatch Ibal-Pi-El. At the same time, Buqaqum was informed that the king of Esnuna had called up every eligible person for military service and that the army had gathered in Tuttub. A little later, Ibal-Pi-El wrote 2 25. He reported that Hammu-Rabi was reluctant to let Mariote troops go or to dispatch Babylonian troops with them, as Zimri-Lim had requested, because he was concerned about the intentions of the Esnunakean army. They were at the Tigris crossing of Mankisum by then, but it was not known which route they would take, upstream along the west bank toward Situllum, across the Tharthar depression toward Suhum, or south toward Babylon. When a report came in that they were in fact headed for Situllum, Hammu-Rabi declared himself ready to comply with Zimri-Lim’s request. That request was for the return of the Hana soldiers, 500 of the soldiers from the banks of the Euphrates, and the dispatch of a whopping 10,000 Babylonian troops. It was the long-standing request that had already been put to Hammu-Rabi about one year earlier, but had been refused by him then. 163 Ibal-Pi-El dispatched Yantin-Erah, commander of the reinforcements, and Bahdi-Addu, commander of the Hana. He was concerned that the king would reproach him for not dispatching the troops on the banks of the 161. See, for example, Durand, LAPO 17, 215–16 and Lackenbacher 26/1, 405. 162. Birot, who published 27 162, did not submit to the logic of the passage, stating in comment d that the return of the “first troops” may have taken place after the fall of Larsa, or earlier in ZL 9u or 10u. If the first alternative were true, Zimri-Addu would have gone to Mari after the fall of Larsa and been back in Babylonia at about the same time. 163. See §36.

Back in the South


Euphrates along with them and explained that the “attitude” of the Hana would have created difficulties. He further indicated that Yantin-Erah would give a full explanation. Why Ibal-Pi-El feared Zimri-Lim’s reproach for not having dispatched 1,000 troops when Hammu-Rabi had only consented to the dispatch of 500 is not quite clear. Ibal-Pi-El’s next report is RA 33. Two days after he had dispatched the Hana troops under Bahdi-Addu, Yaqqim-Addu came from Mari with a message for Hammu-Rabi. It included something about the Hana troops. But since they had already departed, Ibal-Pi-El and Yaqqim-Addu decided to keep that part to themselves and presented the remainder of the message to Hammu-Rabi. It must have concerned the dispatch of Babylonian troops to Mari. Three days later, they approached Hammu-Rabi again and pressed him for an answer to Zimri-Lim and for Babylonian troops that Yaqqim-Addu could bring back. Hammu-Rabi was content to send Yaqqim-Addu back, but without troops. In the face of Ibal-Pi-El’s and Yaqqim-Addu’s protests, Hammu-Rabi seemed to relent. He excused himself again with uncertainty about the intentions of Esnuna: a report might come in five days, and Yaqqim-Addu could return then. Nothing was said about Babylonian troops. At the end of his report, Ibal-Pi-El mentioned that Mariote and Babylonian troops had captured an “informer” at the gate of Mankisum. The informer would be brought to Mari, presumably with Yaqqim-Addu and Ibal-Pi-El’s letter. Hammu-Rabi had good reason to be concerned about Esnuna and the situation in the east generally. The new king of Esnuna had ordered a full mobilization, and even if his troops were headed north along the Tigris rather than west to Babylon, it was known that Esnunakean intentions were ultimately directed against Babylon. A glimpse—and not more—of the turbulence of the time can be had from 6 27, a letter from Bahdi-Lim to Zimri-Lim, who was away from the capital. It is dated to the 5th month. 164 Bahdi-Lim reported that an Esnunakean messenger and his Ekallatean and Kurdean companions were caught “in the midst of livestock” (presumably belonging to Suhum, who herded their animals far to the east, up to the vicinity of Assur) and brought to Meptum, who sent them on to Mari. There they were interrogated and provided the following news: 12,000 Esnunakean troops were marching up to Situllum (a fact that had already become known in Babylon right before Ibal-Pi-El wrote 2 25); Esnuna had given Elam a large amount of grain; 10,000 Qutean troops under the command of Nawaritum were headed for Larsa—whether to attack it or to support it against Babylon, Bahdi-Lim does not say; Babylonian troops, operating from Malgum, went to rustle Elamite sheep. The Esnunakean messenger also had to reveal the message that he was carrying: 164. That is, the 5th month of ZL 10u. Charpin, “Chronologie,” 56–57, understood the events reported in the letter to precede the defeat of Esnuna by Hammu-Rabi in his 31st year, which corresponds to ZL 12u. I believe that the Esnunakean troops, or at least some of them, were allied forces sent to Isme-Dagan. Their presence in Ekallatum and Razama became a prime factor in the political situation in the Hilly Arc in ZL 11u.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Isme-Dagan of Ekallatum were asked not to provide troops to Babylon and urged Zimri-Lim not to provide troops to Babylon either. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that Hammu-Rabi hesitated to send large numbers of his own troops to Mari. He allowed the Mariote troops under the command of Yantin-Erah and Bahdi-Addu to return, but Babylonian troops were not dispatched after all. It also took numerous requests from Mari to get IbalPi-El back. When Ibal-Pi-El had finally left Babylon and was close to the Mariote border, he wrote 2 24. He explained that he had not written earlier because he was afraid Hammu-Rabi might change his mind again. Ibal-Pi-El’s final argument in favor of letting him go had been that Babylon had destroyed its enemy (which must have been a reference to Elam) and that even if “the” or “a god” motivated Esnuna to “overstep the good words he had placed between Babylon and Esnuna,” HammuRabi still could not act on such outrage because the cold season was coming, which would make it impossible to attack a land and lay a siege. Ibal-Pi-El’s arguments had fallen on deaf ears, but a message from Zimri-Lim, brought to Hammu-Rabi by a certain Etel-Pi-Samas did the trick. Ibal-Pi-El said in wonderment that Zimri-Lim’s words were the same as those with which Hammu-Rabi had instructed him for his trip back to Mari. I assume that Zimri-Lim had reached the same compromise independently. As future developments show, the compromise may have been to let the Mariote troops return for the cold season on condition that they, or at least some of them, would return for the coming campaign season. Ibal-Pi-El also wrote a letter to Buqaqum in Suhum, announcing his arrival there in five days. Buqaqum relayed the information to Mari in 26 486. He also mentioned a rumor that 2,000 or 3,000 Babylonian troops would be dispatched with Ibal-Pi-El. 165 In 26 487, Buqaqum relayed the information that he had gathered from a servant whom he had sent downstream to meet Ibal-Pi-El: there were no Babylonian troops with Ibal-Pi-El, just a Babylonian messenger.

E. Back in the North 48. Atamrum Becomes King of Andarig Atamrum was king of Allahad, a city located somewhere between Andarig and Karana. He was apparently still king of Allahad in early ZL 10u when Yamßum reported in 26 320 that La-Awil-Addu was establishing a camp near Subat-Enlil. Not much later, Atamrum seems to have assumed the kingship of Andarig, which had lain dormant for more than a year after Qarni-Lim’s death. Documentation attest165. In the same letter, Buqaqum reported the arrival of four Babylonian messengers with their diplomatic companions. Two messengers and their Andarigite companion were on their way to Andarig, and the other two were headed for Mari. Their companion was Yattin-Erah. This is certainly not the commander who passed Suhum earlier, bringing troops back from Babylonia.

Back in the North


ing the fact and the date is minimal. In his review of the new order that established itself after the withdrawal of Elam from Mesopotamia in early ZL 10u, Yarim-Addu mentioned that Atamrum had received gifts from Hammu-Rabi of Babylon (26 372). Among them was a chair, which, as pointed out by Charpin, indicates that Atamrum had just become king. 166 He was already king of Allahad, so the chair would have marked Atamrum’s assumption of the kingship of Andarig. An important aspect of Atamrum’s belated assumption of the kingship may have been the measure of legitimacy for his claim to Subat-Enlil that came with it, because that city had had close ties with Qarni-Lim, king of Andarig. Clearly, Atamrum’s career flourished as political power shifted in the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains from Elam to Mari. Atamrum first succeeded in changing his status with respect to Mari from enemy to ally, then he gained control of SubatEnlil, and finally he assumed the kingship of Andarig. 49. Haya-Sumu’s Star Is Fading Haya-Sumu’s meek submission to Atamrum in early ZL 1 0u did not gain him security with Atamrum. A few months later he wrote Zimri-Lim that the inhabitants of Suhpad, a city he considered his possession, had asked Yasim-El, Mari’s representative in Andarig, Zu-Hadni, king of neighboring Surnat, and a third person for protection against Atamrum. However, Atamrum had seized the city anyway and installed his regent there. The exact location of Suhpad is not known, but since it was claimed by Haya-Sumu and Atamrum it probably lay in the vicinity of IlanÍura and Subat-Enlil. 167 It was Zimri-Lim’s understanding that the city actually belonged to Haya-Sumu, and he asked Yasim-El about the affair. Yasim-El answered in 26 409. Mari was deeply involved, because Yasim-El had accompanied Atamrum to the city at the head of Mariote troops. Three days after “coming close (and camping before)” the city, Atamrum obtained a peaceful settlement. Atamrum committed himself not to “hunt,” kill, or deport the residents, and they in turn committed themselves not to “hunt” or kill his regent and not to bring back their former king. The citizens also swore that Atamrum would henceforward be “lord of the soil,” that is, presumably, ruler of the territory of Suhpad. However, the villages of Suhpad did not feel bound by this oath, for which reason Andarigite and Mariote forces remained in the area (§54). Yasim-El rejected Haya-Sumu’s claim that the Suhpadeans had asked for his protection. Had they done so, he argued, he would have honored their plea and not allowed the city to become a possession of Atamrum. In fact, he would take away from Atamrum any city that asked for his protection. On the other hand, he did not question Zimri-Lim’s opinion that the city belonged to Haya-Sumu. He acknowledged that the city had been promised to Haya-Sumu and then, “by bad luck, confusion settled on the land and those matters were not sorted out until this day.” There are elements in Yasim-El’s description of his conduct that 166. See Charpin, “Traité,” 158. 167. Joannès, “Routes,” 343 n. 89, placed it on the route between Subat-Enlil and Amaz.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

do not sound straightforward. His dismissal of the veracity of the Suhpadeans’ assertion that they approached him for help includes a hypothetical argument and is a bit shrill. His praise of Atamrum’s loyalty to Zimri-Lim and vague explanation of how Atamrum could have had a legitimate claim on Suhpad indicate that Yasim-El knew very well that the seizure of Suhpad was raw aggression against Haya-Sumu, that the Suhpadeans may very well have asked him for help, and that he sided with the new best friend of Mari since Haya-Sumu’s status in Mari was declining. Atamrum, on his part, acted as if the matter had not yet been decided and left the final decision to his “elder brother” Zimri-Lim. He cannot have had much respect for Haya-Sumu, who bowed to him when threatened over control of Subat-Enlil and evaded direct confrontation with him over Suhpad. Zimri-Lim wrote Haya-Sumu, assuring him of his understanding that Suhpad did indeed belong to Ilan-Íura and stating that he had told Atamrum to give the city back. Haya-Sumu responded in 28 81. He acknowledged Zimri-Lim’s assurance and urged him to return the city to him. After recalling an incident when Zimri-Lim’s promise proved empty and another when Zimri-Lim did not reply to his question, he invited Zimri-Lim to take joint action with him against the city of Tilla. And if Zimri-Lim could not help in person, would he write Atamrum to free Mariote troops stationed in Andarig so they could help him against Tilla? Tilla was the first of four way stations between Subat-Enlil and Saggaratum (1 26) and must have been located close to Ilan-Íura, probably southwest of it. The city was antagonistic to Mari throughout the reign of Zimri-Lim. In his very first campaign, Zimri-Lim had sacked Kahat and Tilla, as emerges from an early letter of Kirum (10 31). In ZL 5u or 6u, Samsi-Erah of Tilla was allied with Kahat and Kurda against Mari (26 357). At the time of Askur-Addu’s entrance into Subat-Enlil in ZL 9u, 500 Esnunakean troops entered Tilla, presumably by invitation of Samsi-Erah, placing Tilla firmly among the Elamite sympathizers in Idamaraß (27 134). At the time of Taki’s rescue of Subat-Enlil in early or middle ZL 10u, Samsi-Erah was still allied with Kurda. Yamßum said in 26 313, “besides Samsi-ªErahº, [the man of Tilla, nobody] who has caused [grief ] to the person of my lord. . . .” So Haya-Sumu’s plea for Mariote troops against Samsi-Erah would have fallen on sympathetic ears in Mari. But his letter shows that his star was sinking: Atamrum was nibbling at his territory, he would not fight neighboring Tilla without Mariote help, he reproached Zimri-Lim for not keeping his promises yet asked him for help against Tilla, and he misjudged reality when he requested the assistance of Mariote troops stationed in Andarig, as if Mari would value him higher than Andarig. In the recent past, he had betrayed Mari when Kunnam came to Subat-Enlil; he showed himself weak when threatened by Atamrum; he treated his wife Kirum, daughter of Zimri-Lim, badly; he created difficulties for Mari’s representative Yamßum. Yet he was dependent on Mari on all fronts. Things did not look good for him.

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50. Atamrum Besieges Asihum and Adallaya Atamrum was not content with possession of Subat-Enlil and with chipping off territory from Haya-Sumu. He also attacked territory in Kurda. His first goal was the conquest of Asihum. According to 27 72-bis, this city had been ruled several years earlier by a king with the Hurrian name Hazip-Ulme. He and the rulers of Alilanum and Íubat-Estar were at the time vassals of Sarraya of Razama of Yussan. According to Charpin’s reconstruction of one of Yahdun-Lim’s campaigns, Íubat-Estar was located close to the Tigris at about the point of the modern border between Iraq and Turkey. 168 It is likely that it shared a border with Yussan, the land of its overlord. It is further likely that Alilanum and Asihum shared a border with Yussan. At the time of Atamrum’s siege of Asihum, the city was in the hands of Kurda. So Asihum was probably situated between the southern border of Yussan and the northern border of Kurda—that is, north of the eastern part of Jebel Sinjar. If Razama was located in the area of Tell Kotchek, Asihum would have been in the area of Tell al-Sawr. A very different location is suggested by an itinerary of Samsi-Adad (1 26), who planned to go from Subat-Enlil to Saggaratum with overnight stays in Tilla, Asihum, Iyati, and Lakusir. The distance is about 130 miles in a straight line if we place Saggaratum on the Habur, 20 miles upstream from its confluence with the Euphrates. Samsi-Adad would have covered an average of 26 miles a day, a good day’s march, and Asihum would have been located several miles southwest of Mount Murdi in the vicinity of modern Gubeibah. The area of Tell al-Sawr lies too far east to fit into Samsi-Adad’s route. In fact, any place on his route is too far west of any conceivable border of Yussan. I therefore assume that Samsi-Adad’s Asihum and Hazip-Ulme’s Asihum were two different places. According to location, both the western and eastern Asihum might have been contested by Kurda and Andarig under Atamrum. But the siege description indicates a rather important settlement, and I therefore assume that it was the eastern Asihum of Hazip-Ulme. Yasim-El described the start of the siege in 26 405. Atamrum had established a camp “toward” the city, probably on the road leading to its gate, and settled the Mariote contingent under Yasim-El in a separate camp “close to the base of the city.” The city was defended aggressively by 1,000 soldiers (Yasim-El rated them as “good”) under the command of Saggar-Abum, a general under Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. Yasim-El found himself in an awkward position. As Atamrum’s ally, he probably had no choice but to join the siege. But he did not want to fight because Mari and Kurda had a nonaggression treaty, and he had not heard of any enmity toward HammuRabi of Kurda from Zimri-Lim. Saggar-Abum of course treated him as the ally of Atamrum and an enemy, making repeated sorties against him. 169 The Mariotes 168. Charpin, “Campagne,” 180. 169. The description of the location of the Mariote camp “close to the base of the city” and the fact that Mariotes were subject to sorties indicates that the Mariote camp was closer to the city than Atamrum’s camp. This would mean that Atamrum had wanted the Mariotes in a more exposed position and that Yasim-El had not objected.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

eventually became embroiled in the fighting, and Yasim-El sent word to SaggarAbum that fighting between them violated the oath sworn by their kings and that he, Saggar-Abum, was the aggressor. In his answer, Saggar-Abum referred to the action of Mariote commanders as evidence that the Mariotes were the aggressor. At some point, Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Atamrum exchanged messages on the situation. Hammu-Rabi offered to cede a city, perhaps Asihum or Harbe, to Atamrum if Sasiya, the king of the Turukkeans, would authorize the action. Atamrum countered by offering to cede a city in return or, for that matter, any number of cities in exchange for an equal number of cities ceded to him, if Hammu-Rabi of Babylon or [Zimri-Lim] would authorize the action. The passage contains seemingly important information on the political constellation of the hour. Sasiya appears as suzerain of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda; HammuRabi of Babylon and Zimri-Lim as suzerains of Atamrum. The suzerainty of Sasiya over Kurda is surprising. Nothing but this passage indicates it. Perhaps HammuRabi of Kurda overstated Sasiya’s rank somewhat because he wanted Atamrum to trust the sincerity of his peace initiative. More likely, his suggestion was sarcastic. Atamrum’s response also smacks of sarcasm. It is hard to imagine that he, the aggressor, was really interested in a peace based on equality. At the end of his report on the siege of Asihum, Yasim-El mentioned that Arrapha-Adal, king of the land of Sirwunum and, based on his name, a Hurrian like the former king of Asihum, was expected to come and lay siege to Adallaya, another city in Kurda, on behalf of Atamrum. Memo 26 406 shows that Atamrum ended up besieging Adallaya himself, and that there was doubt about aid forthcoming from Arrapha-Adal. On the other hand, Yamßum reported in 26 343 that unidentified persons, possibly Atamrum and Arrapha-Adal, collaborated in surrounding “Adalle,” which is how the name of the city was pronounced. In 26 407, Yasim-El reported on the actual siege operations. Arrapha-Adal is not mentioned in the preserved parts of the letter, but much of the tablet is missing. At the time of the siege of Asihum and Adallaya, the Mariote soldiers grew concerned about the impending cold season, because they had not brought any sheep along or silver to buy sheep. It must have been the cold season of ZL 10u, because in ZL 11u Atamrum was in Babylonia throughout the summer and autumn and returned at the end of the 9th month, that is, in deep winter. A date in ZL 9u is impossible because Yasim-El was not stationed with Atamrum during that year. 170 170. For the date in ZL 10u, see already Joannès. Even if a date in ZL 11u is impossible, it is instructive to note that there are a number of facts that point to ZL 11u: (1) Sasiya made a treaty with Hammu-Rabi of Kurda in ZL 11u, which gives the appearance of agreement with Atamrum’s reference to cities of Hammu-Rabi that might be ceded on command of the Turukkeans. (2) Hammu-Rabi built up Asihum in ZL 11u and stationed 1,000 soldiers there. (3) Sadu-Sarrum was reported ready to go to Mari at the time of the siege of Adallaya, which followed immediately the siege of Asihum. The 3 correspondences do not, in fact, exclude a date in ZL 10u. The ceding of Kurdean cities at the command of Sasiya may be sarcastic, as pointed out. Asihum was ideally, and therefore repeatedly, defended by 1,000 men, and Sadu-Sarrum put off his planned trip to Mari in ZL 10u (see the next section).

spread is 9 points long

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The outcome of Atamrum’s sieges of Asihum and Adallaya is not known. He may not have been successful. By the 5th month of ZL 11u, the cities were in the hands of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. 51. Sadu-Sarrum Aborts His Plan to Go to Mari After reporting on Atamrum’s siege of Adallaya in 26 407, Yasim-El mentioned a rumor that “Sadum-Sarrum goes” (i.e., was expected to go to Mari) and that he would write as soon as more information on the matter became available. SaduSarrum was king of Azuhinum. He fought beside Razama of Yussan against Esnuna in ZL 3u (14 106). The Esnunakeans won the battle, a general of Sadu-Sarrum was killed, and Razama and Azuhinum changed allegiance from Mari to Esnuna (above, §4 f). Later, Razama and Azuhinum realigned themselves with Mari, and at some point Sarraya came to Mari accompanied by the kings of Asihum and Alilanum and the generals of Tupham and Azuhinum. 171 This visit took place when Qarni-Lim was king of Andarig, that is, in ZL 8u or earlier. In 14 108, Yaqqim-Addu announced the arrival of a general from Azuhinum, who was on his way to Mari, and declared himself a follower of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. It must have happened after Sarraya lost his power, which caused Azuhinum to realign itself with Kurda. In the second half of ZL 10u, at the time of the siege of Adallaya, Sadu-Sarrum himself was expected to come to Mari, but failed to do so. He may have been prevented by the state of war in the area, which also disrupted communication between Andarig and Mari (26 407). It is likely that Mari asked Yasim-El to dispatch 50 troops of the Mariote contingent in Andarig to Azuhinum in preparation for the planned trip in ZL 10u. The troops would have guarded the city while its king was in Mari. Yasim-El reported in 26 437 that he approached Atamrum about it and that he agreed. At the same time, Babylonian troops stationed in Andarig left the city. Yasim-El did not know their destination, but he must have expected them to head for Azuhinum—though not to guard it but to attack it. So, he warned, “the land Azuhinum and Tupham” and “the entire land has gathered in the bastions.” It is interesting to see that Mari and Babylon effectively operated against each other at that time and in that area. 172 It is also interesting to note that the action of the moment was concentrated in Asihum and Azuhinum, in the Razama’s zone of influence. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda extended his control into this zone and in the process clashed with Atamrum in Asihum; Zimri-Lim propped up Sadu-Sarrum of Azuhinum. These actions suggest that a power vacuum was being filled. The vacuum presumably formed at the end of Sarraya’s rule. Unfortunately, little is known of his fate or that of his city Razama after Zimri-Lim left for the city in ª23 Vº 9u. In the last paragraph of 26 409, Yasim-El 171. For this trip, see Birot’s comment a on 27 127. 172. Joannès believes that the letter was written after the return of Atamrum from Babylon. Yet the fact that Atamrum talked to Yasim-El, even agreed with him, and that Atamrum referred to Zimri-Lim as his father, does not accord with the situation after his return from Babylon.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

reported that Atamrum provided grain to 2,000 Razameans staying in Andarig and encouraged them to return and build up their city. The passage suggests that the population of Razama had been evicted from their city and was in the possession of Atamrum and Askur-Addu. This in turn confirms the collaboration between Atamrum and Askur-Addu that is already documented by Askur-Addu’s move from the camp facing Razama to Subat-Enlil (see §18), and it makes it likely that Atamrum and Askur-Addu, not Zimri-Lim, conquered Razama. The city does not seem to have recovered. 173 It plays no detectable role after Zimri-Lim left for it. With regard to Sadu-Sarrum, he ended up staying in his city. It took another year before he came to Mari, as will be explained in §70. 52. A Thaw in Relations between Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Atamrum Mari was formally allied with Atamrum and Hammu-Rabi of Kurda but actually more with Atamrum and less with Hammu-Rabi. Tensions between the two kings meant danger for Mari, because it drove one or the other into the arms of Mari’s enemies. Concerted action by Kurda, Ekallatum, and Esnuna against Andarig and Mari; or Andarig, Ekallatum, and Esnuna against Kurda and Mari would present a serious threat to Mari’s hold on the Hilly Arc. Peace between Kurda and Andarig was therefore a main objective of Mari diplomacy. We know of at least two initiatives to establish such a peace. The first is documented in 26 410. The letter was written by more than one author, but their names are lost. One of them was probably Yasim-El. It tells of Mariote emissaries who came to Atamrum and urged him to make peace with Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. Atamrum showed himself agreeable. If Hammu-Rabi would agree that the city of Harbe belonged to Atamrum, there would be no further obstacle to establishing good relations, and all outstanding matters between them could be arbitrated by Zimri-Lim. Hammu-Rabi showed himself agreeable too. He accepted Atamrum’s conditions and “abandoned his life to his lord” Zimri-Lim “the same way as Atamrum”—in other words, he committed himself by oath to the Maribrokered peace with Andarig. Hammu-Rabi evacuated Harbe and brought its inhabitants into Kurda, and Atamrum took possession of the city and its territory. Harbe is certainly the city which is elsewhere called Harbe of Yamutbal. The majority of Atamrum’s subjects were Yamutbal, so Atamrum’s claim may have been grounded in and/or supported by the tribal identity of Harbe’s population. The events described in 26 410 must have happened before the revolt of Kukkutanum in IX 10u, because Harbe was in Atamrum’s possession at the time of that revolt. As Joannès pointed out in 26/2, 266, this peace ended the phase of open warfare between Atamrum and Hammu-Rabi of Kurda in which Hammu-Rabi had attacked Harbe and Atamrum had countered by laying siege to Asihum and Adallaya. 173. In 27 89, which dates to about the middle of ZL 9u, the governor of Qa††unan expresses his expectation that Atamrum, who was on his way to Razama, would “destroy the city.” The verb naqarum “destroy” often refers to the taking down of the defenses of a city. If that meaning applies here, Atamrum had in fact conquered the city and planned to raze its wall.

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53. Askur-Addu Becomes King of Karana The exact date of Askur-Addu’s enthronement as king of Karana is not known. Durand quoted M.11655 of 9 XI 10u as terminus ante quem. 174 This can be set back two months: In 26 401 Menirum reported on a mission to arrange a peace treaty between Karana and Mari, when Askur-Addu was already king of Karana. The report was written before the revolt of Kukkutanum in IX 10u. Only bits and pieces of Askur-Addu’s career before becoming king of Karana are known. The conjecture that he was the son of a former king of Karana, the fact that women of his household appear in the “harem” of Ibal-Addu of Aslakka, 175 and his appearance in various military encounters have given rise to the hypothetical vita of a prince of Karana who was expelled by Hadnu-Rabi, the king of neighboring Qa††ara, found temporary refuge in the kingdom of Aslakka during the reign of IbalAddu, was expelled again, lived as a roving “condottiere” in various places in Idamaraß, and finally gained his father’s throne with Zimri-Lim’s help. As already mentioned, the first element of this vita is based on a restoration by J. M. MunnRankin, who rendered a badly preserved phrase in a badly preserved context in 2 119 as “[Asqur]-Adad, son of Samû-Adad (king of Karanâ) rendered homage.” 176 In my view, the context suggests that “[ ]-Addu, son of Samu-Addu,” is the name of the Ekallatean companion of Ibal-Pi-El and Buqaqum, who had been sent on an embassy to Ekallatum and wrote the letter. Even if this is not correct, MunnRankin’s restoration is unlikely because it is contrary to the convention of Mari letters not to identify well-known persons by their father’s name. 177 If Askur-Addu was not the son of a former king of Karana, he may have originally been king of Admatum near Aslakka. Ibal-Addu of Aslakka would have conquered Admatum and appropriated Askur-Addu’s women. The sources for Askur-Addu’s existence as “condottiere” are difficult to place in a meaningful context. One thing that is clear is that he, like Atamrum, served the Elamites for some time in ZL 9u, 178 and that he managed, again like Atamrum, to change sides from Elam to Mari and gain power in the process. He somehow ingratiated himself with Zimri-Lim to such an extent that Zimri-Lim promised him the kingship of Nahur. 179 This did not come to pass. Zimri-Lim made him king of Karana instead.

174. Durand, in 26/2, 131 n. 8. 175. See Marello, “Esclaves et reines,” FM 2 (1994), 115–24. 176. Munn-Rankin, “Diplomacy in Western Asia,” Iraq 18 (1956), 76. Munn-Rankin’s translation is based on dalalum as describing “performance of hommage.” She read the verb id-lulam. The word it-lu-lam is also possible. I translate the passage, “He [ ] ªPNº, son of SamuAddu, as our companion for us. He is allied [ ] our tablet [ ].” 177. See for the time being Durand’s treatment in LAPO 16 351. Durand follows the hypothesis of Munn-Rankin, but expresses doubts about the meaning of the context. 178. See §18. 179. See my note, NABU 2000 32.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

The circumstances of his installation as king are fairly well documented. Durand and Joannès quoted from the unpublished text A.230 relevant excerpts. The first excerpt shows that the land and the incoming king made a treaty in which the former asserted that Zimri-Lim was their father and lord and demanded of the latter strict adherence to a rank below Zimri-Lim. The second excerpt shows that Babylon sent gifts, including a chair, just as on the occasion of Atamrum’s enthronement in Andarig. 180 M.7259 is the text of a loyalty oath that was sworn by subjects of Askur-Addu in connection with his enthronement. In the two preserved paragraphs of the text, the person pronouncing the oath committed himself (1) not to communicate with Haqba-Hammu and the other principal servants of the king by written message, to report any actions by them directed against Askur-Addu, to inform Zimri-Lim if they urged Askur-Addu to change allegiance, and to remain loyal to Askur-Addu as long as he remained loyal to Zimri-Lim; (2) not to communicate directly with Hadnu-Rabi. Haqba-Hammu, a diviner, and effectively the leader of the Numha population in the kingdom of Karana, enjoyed an unusual degree of independence in relation to his king, and he might well have challenged the king for leadership of the country. 181 Hadnu-Rabi had been king of the neighboring city of Qa††ara since, at least, ZL 2u. He and Hammu-Rabi of Kurda rejected an Elamite bid to sever allegiance to Mari in late ZL 8u or during ZL 9u. At some point, he lost his throne but regained it with the help of the Turukkeans. Durand dates this episode to the middle of ZL 10u. 182 M.7259 shows that he was still alive and a force to be reckoned with at the time of Askur-Addu’s enthronement. Menirum reported in 26 401 that Askur-Addu sentenced five persons who had “turned their ears” to Hadnu-Rabi. Hadnu-Rabi can hardly have been king of Qa††ara for any length of time after Askur-Addu’s enthronement. Early in Askur-Addu’s reign, one-third of the Mariote troops in Karana were dispatched to Qa††ara in order to prevent trouble for AskurAddu’s fledgling kingship (26 411). It is most likely that Hadnu-Rabi was forced to renounce his claim on the kingship of Qa††ara at the time Askur-Addu was made king of Karana. That he was not killed at this point indicates that Mari guaranteed his security as part of the deal. Another piece of information on the time of enthronement is preserved in 6 26, a letter of Bahdi-Lim to the king, who was absent from Mari. Messengers of AskurAddu had arrived from Karana. In the last part of their message they quoted the subjects of Askur-Addu as having urged him “to seize the coat-tail of Zimri-Lim” and marry Zimri-Lim’s daughter and make her queen. Askur-Addu assured Zimri-Lim in his message that he shared their wishes and hoped Zimri-Lim would not repulse him. It is not known whether the marriage took place. 180. See the end of §48. 181. For his status during and after the reign of Askur-Addu, see Charpin, “Les archives du devin Asqudum,” MARI 4 (1985), 457–58, and §61. 182. In Durand’s note to LAPO 17 592.

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Returning to Munn-Rankin’s hypothesis that Askur-Addu was the son of a former king of Karana, I would stress that the testimony of A.230, M.7259, and 6 26 documents the perception among Mariotes that the relationship between King Askur-Addu and his land was fragile and needed the strong hand of Mari to succeed. It does not seem likely that Askur-Addu was the long-lost son of the city who returned to the throne of his father, but rather that he hailed from elsewhere and had to find his place with respect to the land and its indigenous leaders, HaqbaHammu and Hadnu-Rabi. Menirum’s report 26 401 contains a summary of events at the beginning of Askur-Addu’s reign. Menirum is attested from various important diplomatic missions, two to Karana and one to Babylon. Letter 26 401 is the report from his first mission to Karana. He had gone there with images of Zimri-Lim’s gods in front of whom Askur-Addu had sworn the paragraphs of his commitment to Mari. A few days before Menirum’s arrival, Askur-Addu had sentenced a brother and his 3 children to death. 183 His general Kukkutanum was ordered to carry out the sinister sentences. Kukkutanum told Menirum that he would not obey. By the time Menirum wrote his report, Kukkutanum had just left for Mari to obtain troops. Menirum recommended that the king give him 500 men. Askur-Addu needed the troops to secure his eastern border against the encroachments of Isme-Dagan. Relations with his western neighbor Atamrum were also not good. According to Askur-Addu, Atamrum was collaborating with Isme-Dagan. He was in possession of Aramanima, a city claimed by Askur-Addu, and had ceded it to Isme-Dagan. Askur-Addu succeeded in defeating the 50 troops of Isme-Dagan as they were about to enter, but it was just a momentary victory. He found himself between two hostile neighbors. His enmity with Isme-Dagan was an asset in the eyes of Mari, and Askur-Addu stressed that he rather than Atamrum was the more reliable ally on that front. He could see, so he stated, that Mari had talked forthrightly with Atamrum. But did Mari know that Atamrum had talked wholeheartedly with Isme-Dagan at the same time and had offered to submit his entire land to him? To the skeptical observer, AskurAddu’s claim sounds incredible. By changing from alliance with Elam to alliance with Mari, Atamrum had already demonstrated that he had more ambition than just delivering his land and career to Isme-Dagan. Buqaqum, a Mariote skeptic, demonstrated to Zimri-Lim on another occasion (26 490) that Askur-Addu had “cried wolf.” He may have been “crying wolf ” to Menirum as well. 184 183. They are said to have come up from Esnuna. If it happened at that time and not considerably earlier, the sentenced brother cannot be identical with the brother whom one-half of Idamaraß supported at the time of the plan to install Askur-Addu as king of Nahur, as Charpin assumes in comment c to 26 359. 184. While Atamrum may have put his land at the disposal of Isme-Dagan verbally, such a thing did not necessarily mean much. Compare A.266, according to which Ishi-Addu, king of Qa†anum, told Elamite diplomats that his land was in Elam’s hands, and this at a time when it may have joined an anti-Elamite alliance (see §35). On the other hand, a close relationship between


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Askur-Addu’s situation is typical for the tense initial phase of an upstart king: potential rivals and collaborators with the enemy are killed, attacks from right and left are countered, and a strong ally is sought. This strong ally was Mari. Menirum had come to form the alliance. The swearing of the treaty-oath went without a hitch, a general of Karana was underway to ask for troops, and the representative of Mari in Karana recommended a sizable number. Things were looking up. 54. Yasim-El Goes to Karana Seven days after Atamrum laid siege to Asihum, Yasim-El wrote in report 26 405 that he was about to escort Askur-Addu to Mari when a letter from the king arrived, ordering him back to his post in Andarig. The reason was presumably a planned muster of Mariote troops under Yasim-El’s command. Yasim-El explained that he could not do it because the troops were dispersed in three different places. He does not mention where they were. Presumably, one group was stationed in the vicinity of Suhpad to keep the villages in check that had not submitted to Atamrum, another was camped near Asihum, and the third was garrisoned in Andarig. In 26 408, Yasim-El reported that the muster was finally done. He attached interesting news to this report: (1) Since the arrival of Mariote troops in Andarig, Atamrum had made 200 prisoners of war. He shared them with his allies, who were Esnunakeans, Babylonians, Mariotes, and unidentified people, the latter most likely from small kingdoms that had become Atamrum’s vassals. Atamrum still kept his old ties to Esnuna and was, in this respect, better connected than Mari and Babylon, who had no treaty with Esnuna. (2) Mari had asked about the extradition of two “criminals” from Andarig to Mari. Atamrum was reluctant to yield to Mari in the matter, and Yasim-El counseled not to press it. Both issues show the considerable power of Atamrum. With the muster behind him, Yasim-El was free to go to Karana. The peace treaty that Menirum had made surely included an agreement on stationing Mariote troops in that city. These Yasim-El brought now. Letter 26 411 is his report on the mission. He came just in time. Isme-Dagan’s son, Mut-Askur, who was staying with 2,000 Babylonian troops and a force of 2,000 Ekallatean and Assyrian troops in Razama, 185 intended to march on Karana. When Mut-Askur was informed that Yasim-El was marching toward Karana, he abandoned his plan and ferried grain from Razama to Ekallatum instead. The 2,000 Babylonian troops under Ekallatean command were presumably part, or all, of the 6,000 troops that Hammu-Rabi of Babylon was expected to send to Isme-Dagan at the time of the restoration of relations between Babylon and Elam (26 373). Atamrum and Isme-Dagan is attested in 26 391, where Habdu-Malik recalls a time when Hammu-Rabi of Kurda had told Zimri-Lim to “separate” Atamrum from Isme-Dagan (see §58). 185. That is, Razama of Yamutbal, as also in the following account unless otherwise indicated. After its destruction by Atamrum (see n. 173 above), Razama of Yussan disappears completely from the documentation.

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The arrival of Yasim-El put a tense Karana at ease. Yasim-El found that the land had been “sleepless” and Askur-Addu “choking” with fear. However, things cannot have been all that bad, because Haqba-Hammu, who served Askur-Addu as chief of staff, was out besieging a city. Perhaps Askur-Addu had painted things darker than they were. Yasim-El, seeing that the situation was stable, renewed the request that Askur-Addu go to Mari. He would escort him and leave behind the 300 Mariote garrison troops to guard the city, but Askur-Addu did not think this was the right moment to leave his land. It was further decided that Qa††ara also needed the protection of Mariote soldiers. Danger was indicated by bad omens. So 100 of the 300 Mariote garrison troops were stationed in that city. Iddiyatum was put in charge of the troops, and Menirum, who was still in Karana after negotiating the peace treaty, was expected to return to Mari, escorted by Yatar-Salim, the brother of HaqbaHammu. Thus things were settled in Karana, the “land calmed,” and Askur-Addu “established his base.” 55. Revolt by Kukkutanum The omens for Qa††ara were right for a change. The city soon became embroiled in a rebellion that almost toppled Askur-Addu. Yasim-El reported in 26 412 that General Kukkutanum, who earlier had departed for Mari when Menirum wrote about the successful conclusion of the treaty with Karana and, on that occasion, had voiced his intention of foregoing an order by Askur-Addu—this Kukkutanum had returned to Karana from Mari with a certain Kakiya. Kakiya denounced him. As a result, Kukkutanum was “blackened,” ousted from his position, and put under house arrest. Thereupon, Numha troops, presumably the troops that he had commanded, assembled in Qa††ara. Kukkutanum, violating his house arrest, joined them and laid out his case before them. His problem, so he said, was with Haqba-Hammu, because he, Kukkutanum, had accused him of siding with Isme-Dagan, whereupon HaqbaHammu had denounced him before Askur-Addu. This was Kukkutanum’s view, or at least the view that he wanted his audience to believe. Yasim-El said that Kakiya had denounced him. Kukkutanum raised other points in the assembly, which Yasim-El did not specify, and caused the assembled troops to take his side. Haqba-Hammu, aware of the assembly of troops, but apparently unaware of their state of mind, sent Kakiya there. Kakiya was immediately killed. During the next nine days, the troops in Qa††ara were in rebellion and consolidated their position. If we can believe YasimEl, the 100 Mariote troops in the city were instrumental in crushing the rebellion in the end. Kukkutanum disappeared. Yasim-El obliged the population to swear loyalty to Askur-Addu in the presence of Askur-Addu’s and Zimri-Lim’s gods, and the rebellion was over. Menirum, about to depart for Mari, would bring a full report. It turns out that Kukkutanum sought refuge with Atamrum in Andarig. YasimEl reported in 26 413 that Askur-Addu and Atamrum agreed on a swap of prisoners. Atamrum extradited Kukkutanum to Askur-Addu and received five “criminals” in exchange. Askur-Addu handed the handcuffed Kukkutanum to Haqba-Hammu. Kukkutanum was placed in hand blocks, killed “with reed,” that is perhaps shot to


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

death with arrows or something even more ghastly, tied to something, probably a chariot, and dragged throughout the land. 56. Askur-Addu’s Trip to Mari With the rebellion over in Qa††ara and Kukkutanum dead, Yasim-El attempted for the third time to convince Askur-Addu to travel to Mari. He reported on it in 26 413. This time Askur-Addu’s excuse was the continued threats to the security of his land and a lack of slaves that he could take with him as gifts for Zimri-Lim. In 26 416, Yasim-El reported on two other occasions when Askur-Addu had put off his trip to Zimri-Lim. Askur-Addu’s reason for the first delay was the situation on the front with Ekallatum. Isme-Dagan had “come out from his land” and laid siege to the city of Adme, 186 and Askur-Addu felt that he could not stay away for long. If Zimri-Lim would come “near” his land, he would meet him. Subsequent developments encouraged Yasim-El to urge Askur-Addu once more to visit Zimri-Lim. The events are described in four damaged lines of text. The traces show only that Andarig was somehow involved. Adme is not mentioned again, so the situation on the front with Ekallatum seems to have improved. The concerns now were the security of Askur-Addu on his way to Zimri-Lim and the security of Andarig. In a general way, the security of a friendly Andarig was important for Karana, because the two kingdoms were neighbors. But why AskurAddu should be concerned personally about the security of Andarig, which was not his city, is not quite clear. In order to allay Askur-Addu’s concerns, Yasim-El proposed dividing the troops under his command into two groups. He would escort Askur-Addu to Zimri-Lim with one group and leave the other group behind to guard Andarig. Or he would stay behind in Andarig and give him some troops as escort. He formulated the last option as follows: “Otherwise I shall stay behind with the commissioned troops, and I shall guard the city of Andarig [until] the arrival of my lord, and the remainder of the troops will go with you to my lord!” It is difficult to assign the two occurrences of “my lord” in the sentence to the same person. If both occurrences of “lord” refer to Zimri-Lim, Yasim-El was suggesting that they wait in Andarig for the arrival of Zimri-Lim to an unnamed place near enough to Karana for Askur-Addu to go meet Zimri-Lim. Yasim-El would have stayed in Andarig with one part of his troops, and the other part would have escorted Askur-Addu to the unnamed location. Alternatively, the first occurrence of “my lord” refers to Atamrum and the second to Zimri-Lim. 187 In this case, Askur-Addu would go to see Zimri-Lim in Mari or a location nearer to Karana, such as Qa††unan, and Yasim-El would either escort him or stay in Andarig until the arrival of Atamrum. The second solution 186. According to the context, the city was located on Karanean territory near the border with Ekallatum. Joannès’s identification, in 26/2, 295, with Admum, a way station between Nahur and Mardaman, is geographically impossible. 187. The designation “my lord” for two persons in one letter is attested in 10 84. In 26 501, Buqaqum speaks of Zimri-Lim as “my lord” and of Atamrum as “my lord Atamrum.”

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agrees with Askur-Addu’s reaction to Yasim-El’s suggestions. He said, “As long as your lord has not arrived, and (as long as) you have not entrusted the city to the hand of your lord, the responsibility of the city is on you.” If “your lord” was ZimriLim, he would have been expected to come to Andarig, which rules out the first solution, according to which Zimri-Lim could not have stayed in Andarig. Deciding for the second solution, I would guess that Atamrum, planning an absence from Andarig, had asked Askur-Addu to make sure that Yasim-El did not absent himself from Andarig for any reason. Atamrum then left the city, and Askur-Addu fulfilled his obligation by preventing Yasim-El from leaving. Zimri-Lim finally sent Menirum, who had negotiated the treaty with Karana, and Zimri-Addu, who had returned from Babylon, to Askur-Addu. They reported on their mission in 27 154. According to their instructions, they had proposed an alternative. Either Yasim-El’s troops would stay in Karana, or Iddiyatum’s troops would. In the first case, Askur-Addu would be escorted by Iddiyatum; in the second, by Yasim-El. Askur-Addu preferred the second alternative, made no further excuses, and the trip was finally on. The day the letter was “mailed,” Yasim-El had already left, and it was expected that Askur-Addu would leave the next day. Askur-Addu did leave for Mari, whether it was in fact the next day or not. In 6 62, Bahdi-Lim wrote from Mari to Zimri-Lim, who by now had left Mari, presumably for the campaign of ZL 11u. A delegation had arrived from Karana, and the courier reported that the baggage of Askur-Addu had left Karana and that Askur-Addu would depart the day after. Hazip-Tessup, a member of the delegation, added that Iddiyatum would stay in Karana and that Askur-Addu would be escorted by Yasim-El, just as Menirum and Zimri-Addu had said. 57. Habdu-Malik Sets Out on a Peace Mission to Andarig and Kurda Habdu-Malik was Zimri-Lim’s vizier. 188 While it remains to be seen exactly what a vizier, or minister (as the word sukkallum is also translated) was in that time and place, there is no doubt that he ranked high in the kingdom and that Zimri-Lim could hardly have chosen a higher-ranking representative when he sent him to Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Atamrum of Andarig to establish peace between them. It appears that the thaw in the relation between these two kingdoms, which is treated in §52, had not lasted long. There was constant friction between the two kingdoms that was exacerbated by the fact that the territory of Kurda sat astride the routes between Andarig and Subat-Enlil, the two poles of Atamrum’s kingdom. The date of the end of Habdu-Malik’s peace mission is known. He stayed on 27 I 11u in Kurda and planned to return to Andarig the next day, travel to Karana one day later, and then return to Mari (26 392). On 19 II 11u, gifts from Hammu-Rabi of Kurda, Atamrum, and Askur-Addu, which Habdu-Malik had brought with him to Mari, were registered. The length of the mission is hard to pin down because it is not entirely clear how many times Habdu-Malik shuttled between Atamrum and 188. Charpin, 26/2, 207.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Hammu-Rabi, but it was clearly a fast-paced process that probably did not last more than 20 days. It may have been timed before the onset of the campaign season to prevent a flare-up between the two antagonists. A side issue of Habdu-Malik’s mission was consolidation of the alliances of Mari in the area of the Hilly Arc. It was especially important because Zimri-Lim planned to campaign in Idamaraß. The mission was urgent but had a slow start. When Habdu-Malik, who planned to visit Atamrum first, arrived in Qa††unan, Atamrum was reportedly still in SubatEnlil or already on his way to Andarig. Habdu-Malik seems to have stayed the remainder of the day in Qa††unan and advanced the next day to the “cliff of Yabniya.” Still, he was concerned that the king would be displeased about his slow progress and therefore wrote to him and to Secretary Su-Nuhra-Halu to explain the situation and dispel possible suspicions about his slowness. The letter to Su-Nuhra-Halu is 26 388. Habdu-Malik reported that he stopped at the “cliff of Yabniya” and sent his boys from there to Subat-Enlil and Andarig to ascertain the whereabouts of Atamrum. He also sent them to the pasture-chief about another matter, which he does not identify. The letter to the king that went with the same mail may be 26 387. 189 It is also possible that 26 387 was sent later, because Habdu-Malik was now in Sapurrata, where he (still) could chose a route to either location. 190 He was informed there that Atamrum “[had gone/was going/would be going] ªby way of the interiorº of the land” to Andarig. A fairly direct and easy route from Subat-Enlil to Andarig ran over the pass between Mount Saggar and Mount Murdi. However, that pass was likely occupied by Kurda and closed to Atamrum. He probably chose an alternate route that circumvented the territory of Kurda in the west and crossed near, if not through, territory of the province of Qa††unan. Such a route is described in 27 65: “Yassi-Dagan ªwentº out from Subat-Enlil, and he is well. And he arrived in ˇabatum. He got going from ˇabatum, and he arrived on the flat above Tehran, and then he got going from the flat above Tehran, and he took a short cut by way of the steppe to Andarig.” 58. First Attempt to Establish Peace between Kurda and Andarig The first known report of the progress of his mission is 26 390. The beginning is lost. Habdu-Malik states in the first preserved lines that he arrived from Kurda: “I arrived from Kurda to take [ ] for making him declare [ ],” which I restore as: “I arrived from Kurda to take [the lead of the gods of Atamrum] for making him (Hammu-Rabi) declare [an oath of god].” 191 Accordingly, Habdu-Malik had returned to Andarig from successful exploratory talks with Hammu-Rabi in Kurda, 189. As Charpin suggests in comment d to 26 388. 190. The argument is weak because Sapurrata and the cliff of Yabniya may have been right next to each other. 191. Charpin restores [ana pan Hammu-Rabi] ßabatim and translates “Je suis arrrivé [à NG] depuis Kurda pour aller [à la rencontre d’Hammu-rabi (in Kasapa, as Charpin assumes)] et lui faire prêter serment par les dieux.” I can find no example for ßabatum “to take a route” without the explicit accusative mentioning the route.

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on which he presumably reported in a letter now lost or unidentified, and intended to fetch the gods of Atamrum, by whom Hammu-Rabi would swear and thus commit himself to Atamrum. In Andarig, news had just come in that troops had entered Razama and that Esnunakean troops were headed in a direction that led to Andarig or Karana. Habdu-Malik wanted to know from Zimri-Lim whether the Mariote troops in Andarig should stay or leave the city in case the Esnunakeans approached it. Habdu-Malik’s next letter is 26 391. He reported on his arrival in Kurda. Hammu-Rabi also knew about the entrance of troops into Razama. Ekallatean messengers had informed him. If Habdu-Malik hoped that Hammu-Rabi would swear the oath of commitment to Atamrum, he was disappointed. Hammu-Rabi was clearly not ready to do so, and Habdu-Malik had the impression that he was under pressure from the elders not to give in to Mari unless Atamrum ceded territory to Kurda in exchange for peace. Habdu-Malik tried to move Hammu-Rabi closer to a commitment in a long speech in which he reviewed past developments in the relationship between Kurda, Andarig, and Mari. Since the history of the Mari, Kurda, and Andarig triangle is only imperfectly known from other sources, Habdu-Malik’s review is important. It is also replete with cases of hysteron proteron, which makes interpretation difficult. Future publication of the letters of Haqba-Abum, Mari’s representative in Kurda, will hopefully clear up the situation. In the sequence of his report, Habdu-Malik mentioned the following issues: (a) Hammu-Rabi of Kurda swore an oath of allegiance to Isme-Dagan. (b1) Zimri-Lim caused Atamrum to commit himself to Hammu-Rabi. (b2) “On that day,” Zimri-Lim swore an oath of allegiance to Atamrum, which he would not have done had Hammu-Rabi told him that he considered Atamrum his enemy. (c) “Now” Hammu-Rabi brought up the Esnunakeans. (d) Hammu-Rabi did not reveal his enmity for Atamrum to Zimri-Lim when they talked together “after church.” (e) Habdu-Malik is ear witness to the fact that Hammu-Rabi requested from Zimri-Lim Atamrum’s “separation” from Isme-Dagan. (f) Habdu-Malik and an unspecified person, or persons, “separated” Atamrum from Isme-Dagan. (g) “Now” Hammu-Rabi is a treaty partner of Isme-Dagan, and Atamrum is an enemy of Isme-Dagan. Items (c) and (g) describe the situation at the time of Habdu-Malik’s report. There was then a treaty between Hammu-Rabi and Isme-Dagan, and as result of it, or in conjunction with it, Esnunakean troops had come up and were now threatening Andarig and Karana. The treaty was concluded when Hammu-Rabi swore an oath of allegiance to Isme-Dagan some time earlier (a). The other elements may all refer to “that day” when Zimri-Lim and Hammu-Rabi talked together “after church.” Probably Habdu-Malik was there too, and the king and his servants were


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

the unspecified persons of (f). Hammu-Rabi failed to mention his enmity for Atamrum on that occasion and thus motivated Zimri-Lim, who was pursuing his goal of having peace in the Hilly Arc, to convince Atamrum to disengage from IsmeDagan and to commit himself to peace with Hammu-Rabi. Hammu-Rabi, Zimri-Lim, and Habdu-Malik were in the same place at the talk after church. Most likely Hammu-Rabi had come to Mari at the time of offerings to Estar in the 9th month. 192 Indeed, his visit in Mari is attested in several letters. Aqba-Abum, Mari’s representative in Kurda, wrote 27 74 to Zakira-Hammu, governor of Qa††unan, about making arrangements in Qa††unan for Hammu-Rabi, and Zakira-Hammu wrote 27 75 to the king for instructions about them. The year of the visit should be ZL 10u, because Atamrum had close relations with Ekallatum at that time. Askur-Addu told Menirum this much (26 401) just before IX 10u, and the “separation” of Atamrum from Ekallatum that was effected at the meeting “after church” implies close relations. 193 It appears then that the relationships between Kurda, Andarig, Ekallatum, and Mari since the time when all were unified with Hammu-Rabi of Babylon in the antiElamite coalition of ZL 9u had shifted with the defeat of the Elamites and was replaced by a bipolar system—with Mari and Ekallatum constituting the poles; and with the major secondary powers, Andarig and Kurda, aligning themselves with opposite poles because of their basically antagonistic relationship. At first HammuRabi of Kurda was aligned with Mari and Atamrum with Ekallatum; then, after the meeting “after church” on IX 10u, Atamrum changed sides to Mari and Kurda to Ekallatum. Beyond this system loomed the newly risen kingdom of Esnuna, which threatened to upset the balance of power by supporting Ekallatum and Kurda. If only Mari would succeed in arranging a peace treaty between Kurda and Andarig, the fault line would move farther to the east and away from Mari. It is clear: HabduMalik’s mission was important. Returning to Yamßum’s report 26 391: Hammu-Rabi appeared absentminded to Habdu-Malik during the latter’s review of the relationship between Kurda and Mari. Yasim-El quoted his response, but the text is too damaged to be understandable. The end of the letter is broken off, but it is clear that Habdu-Malik was left without concrete result. Hammu-Rabi had not made any decision, and Habdu192. The most recent documentation for the date of these offerings is given by Durand and Guichard in “Rituels,” 29–30. Zimri-Lim also invited the king of Qa†anum (26 25), Haya-Sumu (26 352), and Ibal-Addu of Aslakka (28 50 and 51) for that occasion. 193. Birot notes in 27, 26, that Zakira-Hammu was in Bit Kapan when he received the letter from Aqba-Abum and assumed that Zakira-Hammu wrote 27 91 during the same stay there. He attributed 27 91 to the time when Kunnam was still in Subat-Enlil and Atamrum asked Hammu-Rabi for his good services in bringing him together with Zimri-Lim, which places Hammu-Rabi’s visit in ZL 9u. The understandable words and names of this badly preserved text are “Hammu-Rabi, Atamrum, Numha, Yamutbal,” and the phrase “between them.” They can be interpreted to refer to a time of good relations between Numha and Yamutbal, and between Hammu-Rabi and Atamrum, in which case Birot’s dating is likely correct; or to a time of bad relations between them, in which case ZL 10u is the more likely date.

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Malik had only the hope that he would overcome the hard line of his elders in “5, 6, days.” 59. Habdu-Malik Visits Karana Five or six days seemed time enough to Habdu-Malik to return to Andarig and pay a visit to Askur-Addu in Karana. He reported on the trip in 26 393. On his way from Andarig to Karana, a courier from Iddiyatum, the leader of the Mariote garrison in Karana, arrived with the news that Askur-Addu had repulsed an Ekallatean initiative to draw him into the camp of Esnuna. He had detained the Ekallatean messengers who brought the message and gathered the entire population of his land inside the protective walls of Karana, presumably in anticipation of an Ekallatean attack. In 26 394, Habdu-Malik reported on his visit to Karana. Unfortunately for us, he decided not to write a full report because, as he said, it would have been too long to fit on one tablet, and he would have a chance to inform the king upon his return to Mari in person anyway. 194 To make things even more difficult for us, the middle part of the letter is broken off. Only a few understandable pieces of information remain: Askur-Addu had just received the result of extispicies for the impending harvest (which dates the report to early ZL 11u, if indeed the extispicies were made shortly before the harvest); the message from Zimri-Lim that Habdu-Malik carried exhorted Askur-Addu to make peace with Atamrum; and Atamrum had balked at a transfer of 100 Mariote troops from Andarig to Karana. Instead he offered 600 of his Yamutbalean troops to Askur-Addu, while requesting Numha troops from Askur-Addu to replace them. 60. Habdu-Malik’s Mission Fails Habdu-Malik returned from his visit with Askur-Addu and reported on his stay in Andarig in 26 389. 195 Zimri-Lim was interested in the fate of Esnunakean troops and earlier had asked Habdu-Malik to be on the lookout for them. Only now, Habdu-Malik reported, did he learn that they had been moved from Andarig to “their fellows.” They may have been Esnunakean troops who went over to Atamrum when he entered Subat-Enlil, in which case the attempt of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon to repatriate them failed, at least partly. 196 The troops that were moved complained that their new quarters were in “a city in ruins.” The deterioration of their status was 194. Would the mail sack have been too heavy? 195. Charpin places 26 389 at the beginning of Habdu-Malik’s mission. Indeed, the first two paragraphs sound much like a first report, especially if one restores “[herewith]” instead of “[some time ago]” at the beginning of Atamrum’s quote of Zimri-Lim’s message. Yet the third paragraph—especially the contrast between the time when Habdu-Malik was in Andarig but did not yet know about the fate of the Esnunakean troops and now, when he had learned about it— shows that the letter could not have been written early in Habdu-Malik’s mission. 196. See the end of §45.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

probably linked to the deterioration in the relation between Andarig and Esnuna that had manifested itself in the recent menacing movements of Esnunakean troops. Before departing for Kurda, Habdu-Malik saw Atamrum, who had received a message from Zimri-Lim. Atamrum told Habdu-Malik that Zimri-Lim had asked to send him back to Mari if things were “well” and to keep him in Andarig if not. There was no peace treaty with Kurda yet, so things were not “well” and HabduMalik would stay. However, Atamrum did not want him to keep staying in Andarig but to stay with the pasture-chief instead. There he could make sure that the Hana under the command of the pasture-chief were quickly mobilized if Atamrum needed them. One might suspect that the Mariote pasturalists in Andarigite territory were obligated to render military assistance in exchange for using pasture and water, but since nothing of the sort is known from other sources, even though the documentation on the relationship between host country and foreign pasturalists is relatively good, it seems more likely that the price for Atamrum’s willingness to make peace with Kurda was the promise of military assistance from the Hana pasturing on his territory. Atamrum had already made a step toward peace: he had given HabduMalik his gods to bring to Kurda. Habdu-Malik, about to return to Kurda, was not optimistic about the outcome of his mission. He assured Zimri-Lim that this would be his last attempt and that he was in need of the help of Zimri-Lim’s god. The god did not help. In 26 392, HabduMalik reported on his last talk with Hammu-Rabi. It was frank. The letter is a remarkable document, which starkly expresses the drama of the moment. HammuRabi received Habdu-Malik alone and set his conditions for peace squarely before him. It was clear that his elders had prevailed: Atamrum would have to cede all cities except Allahad and Andarig, Mariote troops would have to withdraw from Atamrum’s territory, and the Hana controlled by Mari would have to leave Kurdaite territory. There was probably no expectation on either side that Hammu-Rabi’s conditions would be met. Habdu-Malik told Zimri-Lim how he would wrap up his mission: he would go to Andarig and inform Atamrum, then to Karana, then return to Andarig on the 1st day of the 2d month, go to Kurda for a last time, and return to Mari. Given the uncompromising stance of Hammu-Rabi, Habdu-Malik’s intention to return to Kurda is remarkable. Perhaps the customs of diplomacy of the time required him to inform Hammu-Rabi of Atamrum’s reaction to Hammu-Rabi’s decision, even if it was obvious to all parties that the peace effort was dead. On his way back to Mari, Habdu-Malik executed a royal instruction to gather up carpenters and boatmen in the districts of Saggaratum and Terqa (26 398) to dispatch to Mari. When he arrived in Terqa, there was an unusually intense cold spell, and he made arrangements for gathering up ice (26 400). The gifts from Atamrum, Hammu-Rabi of Kurda, and Askur-Addu that Habdu-Malik had brought back from his mission were registered on 19 II 11u in Mari. 197

197. M.11948, quoted by Charpin in 26/2, 209.

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61. Treaty between Atamrum and Askur-Addu Habdu-Malik was back in Mari. His mission had failed to change the hostile relations between Hammu-Rabi and Atamrum, but shuttling between Andarig and Karana succeeded in establishing peace between Atamrum and Askur-Addu. The peace was affirmed in a treaty between the two kings. It was witnessed by Yasim-El, who had come from Karana for the occasion. Three days after his return to Andarig, he reported on it in detail in 26 404. His report is remarkable for its length, detail, and explanatory passages, and the text is remarkable for its excellent state of preservation. The conclusion of the treaty must have followed soon after Habdu-Malik’s departure: Habdu-Malik reported in 26 395 that “Turukkean troops have crossed” the Tigris, and that he would leave for Mari in 5 days, and at the end of 26 404, Yasim-El referred to the same event. He knew by then that the Turukkean force was lead by Iniskibal and was expected to lay siege to Razama. Atamrum initiated the conclusion of the treaty by sending his servant Hittipanum to Karana. Íidqum was suggested as the meeting place. Yasim-El described Íidqum as a locality “in the border region of Numhum-Karana and upper Yamutbal.” The term “upper Yamutbal” occurs only here. It could refer to the upper, that is northern, part of the land ruled by Atamrum or to the entire area ruled by Atamrum in distinction from “lower Yamutbal,” which would be the territory of the kingdom of Larsa, or at least the area around Maskan-Sapir, 198 in southern Babylonia. Joannès understood the sequence “Numhum Karana” as an additive and translated, accordingly, “à la frontière du Numhâ, de Karanâ et de l’Emutbal 199 supérieure.” I think that the location of Íidqum was defined in respect to two reference points— one in the territory of Atamrum and the other in Askur-Addu. Therefore, I prefer to see “Numhum Karana” as a designation of one of several units of the larger area of Numhum, namely, the territory of the kingdom of Karana. After conclusion of the treaty, “Askur-Addu retreated to his land and Atamrum retreated to the interior of ªAndarigº.” 200 Askur-Addu agreed to the meeting and sent his grand cantor to escort Atamrum and his party. Present in Íidqum were representatives of Mari—namely, YasimEl, the envoy Yarih-Abum, and an unspecified number of Yasim-El’s attendants, among them two who helped him maintain proper posture because he was ill at the time and could not stand on his own. There were also representatives of Babylon, Esnuna, and the Turukkeans present. Atamrum had come with seven vassal kings and troops of his allies. Askur-Addu was accompanied by Haqba-Hammu, the

198. So Charpin. See n. 59. 199. The text has “Yamutbalum,” which constitutes the Babylonianized writing of the Amorite pronunciation. Joannès uses the form Emutbal, which is closer to the actual pronunciation. 200. If the formulation is precise, Íidqum was located in Atamrum’s territory. But the fact that an official of Askur-Addu escorted Atamrum to Íidqum indicates that it was located in Askur-Addu’s territory.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

second in command in Karana, and “the elders of the Numha.” The kings probably had soldiers with them, so altogether they must have been quite a crowd. Atamrum started the negotiations with a declaration about his and AskurAddu’s relationship to Zimri-Lim: “Besides Zimri-Lim, our father, our elder brother and our guide, there is no other king.” Later on in the letter, Yasim-El quoted Atamrum addressing Askur-Addu as his son and Askur-Addu referring to Zimri-Lim as his father. So Atamrum spoke for Askur-Addu when he called Zimri-Lim “our father” and for himself when he called him “our elder brother.” Zimri-Lim expressed his rank relative to Atamrum differently. He is quoted in 26 394 as having said: “Atamrum calls me father. [And I] call Atamrum son.” This is also the way AskurAddu saw it: Yasim-El quoted him later in 26 404 as referring to Zimri-Lim as “our father,” including Atamrum in “our” and not specifying his relationship to ZimriLim as one of a younger to an elder brother. Yasim-El did not object to Atamrum’s use of the term “elder brother.” The representatives of Babylon and Esnuna did object, not to his expressions of rank, but to the exclusionary meaning of the words “apart from Zimri-Lim there is no other king.” A Babylonian courtier took the Mariote Yarih-Abum aside, presumably a man of his rank, and asked him a rhetorical question about the relationship of the three major powers: “Really? Zimri-Lim is the king of the upper land and Hammu-Rabi and the Esnunakean are not anywhere close?” Clearly, the fact of the presence of representatives of Esnuna and Babylon implied that these kingdoms were involved in some fashion. The presence of Esnunakeans is remarkable because its alliance with Ekallatum made it the indirect enemy of Karana and Andarig. It is also surprising that an Esnunakean diplomat was present while Esnunakean troops were marooned in a miserable place somewhere in Atamrum’s kingdom. AskurAddu, who overheard the remark of the Babylonian courtier, immediately attempted to diffuse the tension. Atamrum next addressed Askur-Addu. He stated their respective ranks as father and son and exhorted him to preserve them. Next he turned to Haqba-Hammu and the elders of Numha and invited them to raise any concerns. They claimed a field as theirs. Atamrum stated that he had already sowed and proposed to have the ownership decided by divination after he had brought in the harvest. The proposal was accepted. It is astounding that the territorial question was negotiated between Atamrum on one side and Haqba-Hammu and the elders of Numha on the other. Would not the king decide territorial issues in his kingdom? As Yasim-El reports it, there seems to have existed two separate powers in Karana, the king and HaqbaHammu at the head of the elders. It is of course possible that Yasim-El’s report abbreviated by leaving out Atamrum’s delegation of the matter to Haqba-Hammu, or that Atamrum’s statement “I shall talk with Haqba-Hammu and the elders of Numha” was the proper form in which “the father” Atamrum asked his “son” AskurAddu to delegate the matter. Still, why did Atamrum rather than Askur-Addu call Haqba-Hammu? The relationship between Askur-Addu and Haqba-Hammu appears more equal than the usual relationship of a king and even his highest-ranking

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official, and the relationship between Haqba-Hammu and the elders of Numha suggests that Haqba-Hammu, rather than the king, was their leader. 201 Haqba-Hammu and the elders did not raise a further claim. Yasim-El made an explanatory statement about the conclusion of a treaty by killing a stallion, which is interesting for us, but should have been unnecessary for Zimri-Lim. He also reported that the two sides had brought forward issues, and he mentioned one of these: both kings verbalized their fear that the other would conclude a separate peace with Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. With all issues cleared between Atamrum and Askur-Addu, “the ties were tied,” and a stallion was killed. “Brother made ªbrother declareº a sacred ªoathº, and they sat down to drink. After they consorted and ªdrankº, brother brought a gift to brother, and Askur-Addu retreated to his land. And Atamrum retreated to the interior of ªAndarigº.” Atamrum and Askur-Addu were “father and son.” The “brothers” where probably subjects of the two kings who exchanged oaths and gifts, perhaps according to equal rank, and shared drink. The Babylonians, who had come close to spoiling the harmony of the event when Atamrum made his statement about the singularity of Zimri-Lim’s importance in the upper land, close enough to motivate Askur-Addu to appease them, now threw another barb by asking Atamrum about troops that they expected him to dispatch to Babylon. Atamrum reacted with sarcasm. Yes, he would dispatch troops, but they would go to Zimri-Lim, “lord of this land,” and Zimri-Lim could sell them into slavery if he so wished. Yasim-El probably heard the exchange with satisfaction. He announced to Zimri-Lim that the 500 troops that Zimri-Lim had requested from Atamrum would soon arrive in Mari as well as Atamrum himself, accompanied by troops of his allies and his seven vassals. The only thing not yet decided was by which of three existing routes they would travel. It would be determined by extispicy. 62. The Ekallatean Attack on Nusar The fronts in the northeast had become clear after the formation of the treaty between Andarig and Karana: on one side were Atamrum of Andarig and AskurAddu of Karana, supported by Mari; on the other were Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Isme-Dagan of Ekallatum, supported by Esnuna. 202 Not long after Habdu-Malik’s stay in Karana and probably shortly after the forming of the treaty between Andarig and Karana, Ekallatum went on the attack against Karana. In 26 414 Yasim-El 201. As detailed in §53, Haqba-Hammu was regarded a potential threat to Askur-Addu at the time of his enthronement. 202. Lafont, 26/2, 474, takes the presence of Esnunakean and Turukkean representatives at the making of the treaty between Atamrum and Askur-Addu as an indication that these two powers were part of a Mari-Babylon-Andarig-Karana alliance. But there did not exist a treaty between Babylon and Esnuna at the time. I believe that the Esnunakeans and Turukkeans sent observers who were tolerated because Andarig and Karana were not enemies of Esnuna and Turukkum at the time.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

related news received from a certain Yaqqim-Lim, a Mariote stationed in Qa††ara: Ekallatean messengers had stayed for 10 days in town, and their presence was kept a secret—obviously with little success. Yaqqim-Addu connected their stay in some way (the text is damaged) to Habdu-Malik. Three days later, Yasim-El learned that there had been an Ekallatean attack on the city of Nusar in which the attackers made off with cattle and sheep. Iddiyatum mentioned the same attack in 26 514. According to him, the Ekallateans captured not only livestock but also 30 men and women. They killed 2 men and 1 woman and 20 of the troops that came out of the city to pursue them. Iddiyatum reported on the aftermath of the attack in 26 515. After the enemy left, Karana started sending out patrols to prevent another surprise attack, and a messenger came from Ekallatum to say that the attackers were not Ekallateans but impostors. As proof, Isme-Dagan appealed to the fact that he and Askur-Addu were brothers and mentioned an oath. The text is damaged at this point, but Isme-Dagan was most likely referring to a treaty of nonaggression between Ekallatum and Karana, which, if it existed, would shed some doubt on the sincerity of AskurAddu’s many protestations of loyalty to Mari and enmity with Ekallatum. After the Ekallatean messenger made his point, someone, most likely Haqba-Hammu, recounted the details of the attack. The enemy had come as close as half a mile (i.e., almost 5 km) to Karana, had captured 40 men and women, and had driven off 100 head of cattle and 2,000 sheep. When a Karanean task force went out to confront them, they quickly left. But people in the kingdom of Karana were frightened and had stopped working outside, and Haqba-Hammu asked Askur-Addu to allow them into the strongholds. As an afterthought, Iddiyatum added incriminating evidence against Ekallatum and the claim of the impostors: the enemy was 800 troops strong and had returned to Razama. This many troops is a strong force, and the operations of such a force require discipline, structure, and organization. Which impostor in the area could muster such a force? Furthermore, Razama, to which they had returned, was the city that Isme-Dagan regularly used as a base for military moves against Karana. 63. Isme-Dagan Withdraws from Urzikka In the action against Nusar, Isme-Dagan acted on his own. At some point, probably soon thereafter, Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Isme-Dagan coordinated their actions. This was not an easy matter, because the direct route between Kurda and Ekallatum crossed Karanean territory. The routes farther south crossed territory of Andarig. A route rounding Karana in the north would have been quite long and may have been insecure. Communication between Kurda and Ekallatum was indeed so difficult that Kurdaite messengers crossed Karanean territory on their way to Ekallatum, risking arrest. One such case, quite possibly the first, is documented. The Kurdaite messengers were forced to reveal the message they were carrying, and Iddiyatum relayed it to Zimri-Lim in 26 511. In it, Hammu-Rabi of Kurda stated: “It

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is indeed a ªknown factº that we, I and you, [met] in Raßum.” Hammu-Rabi, IsmeDagan, and Raßum are also mentioned together in 26 417, which is a fragment of a letter by Yasim-El. According to the preserved part, Isme-Dagan was followed for some distance by troops of Askur-Addu and Atamrum on his way back from Raßum to Ekallatum. In 26 418, Yasim-El reported that Isme-Dagan and Hammu-Rabi shared a camp in Urzikka and raided villages of Surra from there. They also surrounded and harassed the city of Surra for a day. Surra must be sought in an area where the interests of Kurda, Andarig, and Karana intersected. Control of it was already being contested by these three kingdoms during the reign of Qarni-Lim. 203 In 26 415, Yasim-El relayed a report by Iddiyatum that gives information on another phase of the operations against Surra: Ekallatean forces attacked the area of the cities of Purattum and Asan of Numha, taking some prisoners whom they brought to Razama; and Zimriya, the king of Surra, wanted Yasim-El to inform Zimri-Lim of the threat of Isme-Dagan and his allies, who were nearby. The allies were presumably forces of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. The operations of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Isme-Dagan in the area of Surra were not perceived as a serious threat in Andarig or Karana. Yasim-El reported in 26 419 that Himdiya and Haqba-Hammu, the military leaders of the two kingdoms, crossed Mount Saggar and attacked Tilla in the northwest, rather than moving in the direction of Surra and coming to the aid of its king, Zimriya. At the same time, Isme-Dagan heard that Zimri-Lim had arrived in Qa††unan. He abandoned the camp in Urzikka and moved back to the Numha city of Hamadanum. Yasim-El told Zimri-Lim that Isme-Dagan would probably withdraw altogether and so “slip from his (Zimri-Lim’s) hand.” Zimri-Lim was in fact headed for him. On 29 III 11u he was in Surra and used Urzikka as a base for operations in the area. 204 Letter 26 419 is also dated to the 3d month. A little later, Atamrum left Andarig for Mari. Yasim-El announced in 26 417 that Atamrum would arrive in Mari three days after the arrival of his tablet. 205 After a stay in Mari, Atamrum continued on to Babylon. 64. Events in the Fifth Month In 26 420, which is dated to the 5th month, Yasim-El called Zimri-Lim’s return to Mari from the yearly campaign in the north two months earlier a “retreat” and connected it with the fact that messengers from Isme-Dagan were again shuttling between Kurda and Ekallatum. Of course, Yasim-El would not criticize the actions 203. Yaqqim-Lim reported in 14 109 that Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Hadnu-Rabi of Qa††ara accosted Qarni-Lim, who was bringing grain from Subat-Enlil to Andarig, on the crest of Mount Saggar and gave him the choice of a fight or withdrawal from Surra. 204. See Durand, “Noms d’années de Zimri-Lim,” MARI 5 (1987), 617; and Joannès, 26/2, 305 n. 1. 205. Charpin, “Sapiratum,” 352 n. 39, doubts that conclusive evidence exists for Atamrum’s stay in Mari at this time.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

of his king or think of blaming him, nor does the word “retreat” necessarily have a negative connotation. However, the fact is that hostile action in the Hilly Arc ebbed in the 4th month and picked up in the 5th more forcefully than it had been in the initial phase of collaboration between Kurda and Ekallatum in the 3d month. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda imprisoned two Mariote courtiers, one in Kurda and the other in Kasapa. Mariote property in slaves and livestock was confiscated. On the other hand, relations between Kurda and Mari still allowed Yasim-El to send someone to Kurda to obtain information, and Mariote messengers were still in Kurda. Hammu-Rabi “concealed” Ekallatean messengers from them. But given the open words between Habdu-Malik and Hammu-Rabi three months earlier and the open hostility of Kurda against Mari now, the concealment hardly meant that Kurda attempted to keep Mari in the dark about the existence of contacts with Ekallatum. It is more likely that Kurda barred Mariote messengers from audiences in which Ekallatean messengers were to give reports. Hammu-Rabi and Isme-Dagan were probably hatching new plans to attack Andarig and Karana. Yasim-El also obtained information from two soldiers who had been taken prisoner by Isme-Dagan in Harbe, 206 had been brought to Ekallatum, had escaped, and had fled to Andarig. They told him that Isme-Dagan had dispatched spies to the encampments in Suhum. Yasim-El immediately ordered withdrawal of the encampments from the vicinity of Ekallatum and Assur. In 26 421, written not much later, Yasim-El responded to the instruction by Zimri-Lim to ransom the courtier who was imprisoned in Kurda. It was not necessary anymore; his brothers had already ransomed him for 22 shekels of silver. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda had gone on an attack against Atamrum. He “devoured” villages and brought their loot into Adallaya, the city that Atamrum had besieged more than eight months earlier. Surra was also threatened again. On the 26th of the month, Yasim-El wrote in 26 422 that a large number of sheep, which were branded with the mark of the palace of Zimri-Lim, had been driven off by Numha and Idamaraßeans. The participation of the latter could not have been a good sign. Idamaraß was apparently not firmly in the Mariote camp, another indication that any success of Zimri-Lim’s campaign two months earlier had had no lasting effect. Hammu-Rabi kept up his attack. He dispatched 1,000 troops to Asihum, and they fortified the city. 207 In another action, Hammu-Rabi dispatched a force of 2,000 troops with orders to attack the city of Surnat. They captured people and livestock in its vicinity. The inhabitants took refuge in the citadel.

206. Harbe is a common place-name. It is unlikely that Harbe in Yamutbal is meant, because we have no information on a successful Ekallatean operation in that city of Atamrum. Was it Harbe in Suhum? 207. When Atamrum besieged Asihum, it was defended by the same number of Kurdaite troops. See §50.

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65. Isme-Dagan’s Last Hurrah On 5 VI, the Mariote envoy Belsunu came to Andarig with an order by the king to enlist 300 Babylonian or 200 Mariote troops, whose mission it would be “to hold” Karana, presumably against Ekallatum. Yasim-El reported in 26 423 that he consulted with Belsunu and Himdiya (the latter was standing in for the absent king of Andarig in military matters) and then went with Belsunu to Karana in order to consult with Askur-Addu. Shortly after their arrival, they learned from Askur-Addu that Isme-Dagan had entered Razama. Askur-Addu wanted the Babylonian troops to come and sent his vizier Yanßibum with Yasim-El and Belsunu back to Andarig so they could bring them. The Mariotes were also briefed by Haqba-Hammu’s brother Yatar-Salim on an Ekallatean-Esnunakean diplomatic initiative with the goal of making Askur-Addu change sides from Mari to Esnuna. Iddiyatum reported Yasim-El’s and Belsunu’s arrival in Karana in 26 512, duplicating much of the information in Yasim-El’s report. In addition, he said that Haqba-Hammu was busy in the north, having seized cities in the land of Hadnum and defeated troops of Mardaman who had come to the support of Hadnum. Indications are that Hadnum was located north of the Hilly Arc and bordered the west bank of the Tigris. If so, it would have been part of the eastern section of the Northern Plains and across the northern border from Karana. 208 As Haqba-Hammu wrote Zimri-Lim in 2 50, the land of Hadnum had changed sides to Kurda, and he departed with 2,000 troops on a “rescue mission.” I assume that the outcome of his mission was his conquest of the cities. 209 There is no mention of the entry of Ekallatean troops in Iddiyatum’s report. Apparently, it was not yet known to him. Iddiyatum may not have been present at Askur-Addu’s meeting with Yasim-El when the information broke. Yasim-El, Belsunu, and Yanßibum returned immediately to Andarig to bring up the Babylonian troops. After they left, Iddiyatum sent 26 513. He knew then that the Ekallateans had entered Razama and that Esnunakean troops had taken part in the action. It was believed that the combined forces planned to march on Haßarum. Iddiyatum also had an additional bit of concrete information on the diplomatic initiative: Isme-Dagan’s messenger had urged Askur-Addu to evict the Mariotes from Karana, which would make Andarig their only remaining enemy. According to Iddiyatum, lack of grain was the motive driving the actions of Ekallatum. He believed that Isme-Dagan would ally himself with anyone who could give him grain. Events proved Iddiyatum right. 208. Lafont, in 26/2, 475, locates it northeast of Jebel Sinjar. A location in the plains is suggested by the etymology of the name that was suggested by Durand (“le plat-pays”) in LAPO 17 601a. 209. Having changed sides to Kurda, Hadnum must have been formerly on the side of Mari, Andarig, and Karana. The conquest of cities in Hadnum by Haqba-Hammu therefore follows Hadnum’s change of sides, and the change of sides precedes 26 512. On the other hand, HaqbaHammu’s letter includes events that happened after 26 512 and will be treated in the next section.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

At the same time Yasim-El reported his actions in 26 424. He stressed his speed, reminding the king that he and Belsunu had learned of the entry of Ekallatean troops into Razama on the 5th of the month in Andarig. The next day, Yasim-El and Belsunu, accompanied by Askur-Addu’s vizier, had left and then returned to Andarig and, having taken the lead of the Babylonian troops, were again on the road to Karana “at bedtime,” which would be the evening (that is, beginning) of the 7th day. Assuming that Andarig is Tell Khoshi and Karana Tell Afar, the distance was about 45 km. If Yasim-El and Belsunu went on foot, they must have been excellent walkers. More likely, they traveled by coach or chariot. 210 The troops had to walk and, considering that it might have been quite warm at the beginning of the 6th month, they would have preferred to march at night. On the 7th of the month (the day started at sundown before their night march) they were half a mile, circa 5.5 km, from Karana, when a message sent from Karana by Iddiyatum arrived: IsmeDagan was approaching the city of Kiyatan “below Karana” with his troops and Esnunakean allies, and Yasim-El should return to Andarig. Yasim-El’s report gave no reason for his return; he also did not report what Belsunu, Yanßibum, and the Babylonian troops did, but since the enemy was “below Karana,” they certainly continued on to Karana. Yasim-El turned around immediately. When he arrived in Andarig, another messenger from Karana caught up with him and told him that the enemy had now seized the lower city of Kiyatan and established his camp there, while the citizens had taken refuge in the citadel, which was rated as “strong.” The messenger must have been a fast runner, considering that Yasim-El hardly returned to Andarig at a leisurely pace himself. The Babylonian generals who went to Karana also wrote reports on these events to Zimri-Lim. All three of them wrote 26 427; 211 one of them, Munawwirum, wrote 26 426. The three generals reported that after their arrival in Andarig they received a letter from the king, telling them to support Karana because IsmeDagan had attacked Haßarum. Zimri-Lim must have written his letter after receiving Iddiyatum’s report 26 513, taking a rumor for a fact, and before learning that Kiyatan, not Haßarum, had been Isme-Dagan’s destination. The generals told the king that, obeying his command, they had indeed gone to the rescue of Karana and that “Imdiya,” which is the Babylonian pronunciation of “Himdiya,” had been with 210. See 26 125, where the fastest method of travel for an urgently needed physician was said to be by chariot or small boat. 211. If the Babylonian task force consisted of the 300 soldiers that are mentioned in 26 423, one general would have commanded 100 troops. Mariote generals usually commanded about 10 times as many. According to 6 28, the appointment of Yantin-Erah as general was a problem because he would only command 500 troops. Bahdi-Lim used as argument in favor of his appointment the fact that Babylonian generals sometimes commanded as few as 200 or 300 troops (see §33). Three generals for 300 troops would be out of the ordinary even for Babylonian troops. It is therefore possible that there were more than 300 Babylonian troops in Andarig and that Zimri-Lim’s suggestion of transferring 300 to Karana did not refer to all available Babylonian troops.

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them. Isme-Dagan had come close to Karana with his troops, but there was no reason for concern. They were ready for any enemy and would not allow anything bad to happen in the land of Atamrum. It is interesting to note that the Babylonian troops were assisted by Himdiya. In fact, it supplies the reason why Iddiyatum told Yasim-El to return to Andarig: Askur-Addu was afraid that he would not be able to stem the attack of Isme-Dagan and his Esnunakean allies without additional troops from Andarig. He ordered Iddiyatum to send Yasim-El back to Andarig so Yasim-El could alert Himdiya and request his help. Munawwirum’s letter 26 426 was probably sent later than 26 427. The letter is not well preserved. It probably refers to the action in and around Kiyatan. Iddiyatum’s report 26 521 is the better source. Isme-Dagan had “seized the city of Kiyatan which he (had) besieged” and did something to, or with, its prisoners of war. He apparently had succeeded in taking the “strong” citadel. Donkey trains were transporting grain to Razama. Askur-Addu approached to within a third of a mile, that is approximately 4 km. This he did “once, twice,” and returned to his camp. The entire land of Numha was sleepless with fear. Askur-Addu asked Iddiyatum for 30 Mariote troops from the garrison to join him in camp and Iddiyatum dispatched them. The troops did not motivate bolder acts on the part of Askur-Addu. Probably their role was mainly to reassure his troops and keep them from running away. Iddiyatum tried to fill the ranks of his garrison with 20 troops from the garrison in Andarig, but Yasim-El refused to provide them. 66. Esnuna Withdraws from Ekallatum The dramatic chain of events that followed Isme-Dagan’s last hurrah in Kiyatan is documented in the letters of many authors. It is not easy to untangle the chronology of events. One key in understanding it, or at least in constructing a possible scenario, is the realization that letters 2 50 and 28 171 summarized discontinuous past events from hindsight. The two letters were not written by servants of Zimri-Lim, who furnished him with a continuous stream of information but by Haqba-Hammu and Himdiya, who wrote Zimri-Lim only if they had something spectacular to tell about their own accomplishments for the sake of Mari. The other key is the realization that the chronological order of letters 26 522 and 523 of Iddiyatum has to be reversed. The resulting chronology is summarized in appendix 7 (pp. 655ff.). In the narrative, I treat separately the six developments that overlapped each other partly or fully: (1) Ekallatum’s attempts to get grain; (2) troubles on Karana’s northern border; (3) Isme-Dagan’s moves from Kiyatan to Razama; (4) Askur-Addu’s move of camp of operations from near Kiyatan to Rakna; (5) the moves of the Turukkeans; (6) the withdrawal of Esnunakean troops from the kingdom of Ekallatum. (1) Yamßum, writing from Karana, relayed information gathered from three fugitives who had escaped from Ekallatum in 26 341. They said that Isme-Dagan planned to buy grain in Mankisum and had readied boats for the transport. A letter


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

by Buqaqum, 26 494, preserves some details of the episode. Isme-Dagan had suggested that his subjects sell their children for grain in the market of Mankisum. They refused, and Isme-Dagan sold 400 of his troops instead. 212 In 26 342, Yamßum reported that troops, probably Ekallateans, had carried grain from Karana to Ekallatum, but that they were unable to transport as much on the backs of their soldiers as was needed. So they wanted the donkeys of the merchants of Assur to do the transport. The foreman of merchants of Assur went to Karana with a “contribution” for Askur-Addu and made an agreement that Assyrian merchants would arrange to get the grain from Karana to Ekallatum. The measure of desperation in Ekallatum was presumably equal to the profits the Assyrian merchants expected to make and to the contribution that the foreman of the merchants brought Askur-Addu. The deal was against the letter and spirit of Askur-Addu’s alliance with Andarig and Mari. It was kept a secret, and Yamßum prided himself at having succeeded in discovering it. Possibly this deal was discovered within the time period of the peace agreement between Karana and Ekallatum that Buqaqum mentions in 26 490 as having been concluded a month before and having ended at the time Buqaqum wrote. (2) Also in 26 342, Yamßum reported that Isme-Dagan’s troops had made prisoners in the area of Raßu and Sa Hadnim on the Tigris. Sa Hadnim, according to its name, was a place by a river crossing. It must have been located on the east bank of the Tigris, and travelers would have crossed from there to the land of Hadnum. Hadnum had just seen military action when Haqba-Hammu seized cities there (see the last section). More serious trouble on the northern border of Karana was an attack on the city of Íubatum, which was actually in Karanean territory on the west bank of the Tigris. The attack was reported by Iddiyatum in 26 523. Iddiyatum was not sure about the identity of the attackers but assumed that they were Hadnean or Turukkean. In reaction to the incursion, Askur-Addu decided that the threats in the area needed a permanent solution. He issued a decree establishing a zone of defensive settlements in the border area. 213 There was a diplomatic exchange between Karana and Kurda about the attack on Íubatum. Iddiyatum reported on it in 26 522. The relevant passage is not fully preserved. Askur-Addu reminded HammuRabi that he had acted in Hammu-Rabi’s interests when he prevented an action connected with the attack. Hammu-Rabi answered that he could not have come to the rescue of Íubatum because Askur-Addu was an ally of his enemy Atamrum. (3) Isme-Dagan himself was still in the area of Kiyatan but seems to have reached his objective there, which was to plunder the grain stores and to organize the transport of grain to Razama. He had donkeys for the transport. When he and his troops were on the way to Razama, he was attacked by Haqba-Hammu, who proudly wrote Zimri-Lim about the action in 2 50. He said he pursued Isme-Dagan 212. See my note, NABU 1998 47. 213. The decree is quoted by Iddiyatum in 26 523 and interpreted in my comment on the translation of the passage.

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so closely that his troops left their gear behind, dropped their weapons, and IsmeDagan made it into Razama by “the skin of his teeth,” without even “one bread.” The grain did not make it into Razama either. But it was not Haqba-Hammu’s doing, and it could not have been the result of enemy action because the donkeys were not lost; they returned empty to Ekallatum. What happened to the donkey drivers is not said. The information originated from deserters who ran away from Razama at night and reported to Askur-Addu. Haqba-Hammu told the story to Iddiyatum, and Iddiyatum relayed it in 26 524. (4) Askur-Addu matched Isme-Dagan’s move from Kiyatan to Razama, leaving the camp near Kiyatan from which he had operated so ineffectually and building a new camp at Rakna (26 522). His Babylonian, Mariote, and Andarigite allies were stationed in this camp. The Andarigite contingent was led by Atamrum’s chief of staff, Himdiya himself. He wrote 28 171 to Zimri-Lim from camp. He relayed the news from Ekallatum, mentioned that Isme-Dagan was moving from Kiyatan to Razama, but did not mention that Haqba-Hammu had chased Isme-Dagan into Razama, either because he did not yet know or because he was uninterested in extolling the success of another. He added the otherwise undocumented news that 300 Turukkeans “arrived inside our camp.” (5) Iddiyatum reported the rumor that 4,000 Turukkeans had crossed the Tigris and marched on Ekallatum in 26 522. It is chronologically possible that the 300 Turukkeans who turned up in the camp of Rakna were part of those 4,000. (6) As relayed by Yamßum in 26 341, which he wrote in Karana, three fugitives from Ekallatum said that Mut-Askur, Isme-Dagan’s son, had been sent to Esnuna to obtain additional Esnunakean troops when it became known that Atamrum’s return to Andarig was imminent. Atamrum had been in Babylon for some time, and IsmeDagan feared, or knew, that he would be accompanied by Babylonian troops and that these troops would be used against him. Buqaqum wrote in 26 494 that MutAskur left Ekallatum for Esnuna 214 six days before Isme-Dagan sent off 400 soldiers to be sold for grain in Mankisum. He probably returned immediately. In 26 523 Iddiyatum relayed this dramatic news, gathered from two men who were captured outside the gate of Assur: 215 Mut-Askur had returned from Esnuna. His gift had 214. Letter 26 494:27 gives the name of the place of Mut-Askur’s destination, which is not, as expected, Esnuna. The signs are only partially preserved. Lackenbacher did not suggest a reading; Durand suggested Ni-nu-ú? as writing for Ninuªa = Nineveh. While this reading is faithful to Lackenbacher’s copy, it is hardly conceivable that Mut-Askur went upstream to get troops from downstream. Buqaqum says that Mut-Askur left by boat. So the unreadable name could be a place on the Tigris where a traveler to Esnuna disembarked and crossed over to the Diyala Plain. 215. The informers are identified by Iddiyatum in 26 523 as “8 merchants, informed persons,” which also can be understood as “8 merchants (and) informed persons.” They were captured by a task force sent to “Ekallatum.” Himdiya says in 28 171 “2 ªmenº” captured “ªinº the gate of Assur.” I would harmonize the differing statements by assuming that the task force was sent to the land of Ekallatum and succeeded in capturing some merchants at the gate of Assur, two of whom provided the information.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

been rejected and his request for additional troops denied. He was accompanied by a high-ranking Esnunakean envoy who was charged with bringing home the Esnunakean troops stationed in the kingdom of Ekallatum. Babylon and Esnuna had made peace. In 26 524, Iddiyatum reported on the actions of the Esnunakean envoy: he had started the repatriation with the troops of his land that were stationed in Razama. As soon as he showed his face there, the prisoners rose up. Isme-Dagan apparently had maintained control over the city by imprisoning a significant number of its citizens. The city was called “Razama of Yamutbal,” so they may have been Yamutbaleans and sympathizers of Andarig. Given the lack of grain, the prisoners also must have been starved and desperate. Without the support of the Esnunakean garrison, Isme-Dagan lost control in Razama. He left with his troops for Ekallatum “in the middle of the night,” after pleading with the Esnunakean emissary to leave behind at least the 500 troops that were stationed in Ekallatum. Without them, he said, he was afraid for his life. Buqaqum took up the story in 26 491. He had sent out one of his men, a certain Yasim-Hammu, from Parpara which is somewhere near Assur and Ekallatum, 216 to Karana to obtain information. On the way, Yasim-Hammu happened upon a deserter from Ekallatum who told him about the events in that city: Isme-Dagan was desperate. He accused the Esnunakeans of being a “blind snake,” which probably means as much as our “not having any teeth,” and complained that he was not on good terms with his land and would have to go with them into exile to Esnuna if they left. In the end, he detained the Esnunakean commander, Lipit-Sin, and his 500 troops in Ekallatum. Iddiyatum reported the same story in 26 525. 217 The principal loser of the withdrawal of Esnunakean troops from the kingdom of Ekallatum was obviously Isme-Dagan. The allied troops were gone or detained against their will. The need for grain continued unabated despite desperate acts to secure grain. His subjects did not stand behind him. Hammu-Rabi of Babylon, his benefactor in the past, had pulled the rug out from under his feet. Karana was probably the winner. The hostile, dangerously desperate neighbor Ekallatum was essentially destroyed; its sponsor, Esnuna, was removed from the scene. More indirectly, the entire alliance of Andarig, Mari, and Babylon won because the eastern front became quiet. Esnuna must have gained something, but what it was I could not say. Was its troop withdrawal from Ekallatum a unilateral move? Iddiyatum reported in 26 523 that Askur-Addu was planning to send the Babylonian troops from the camp of Rakna back to Andarig. It is possible that he was not in need of them anymore. 216. As implied by 26 493. 217. It is remarkable that the information in the letters is identical not just in content but also in wording. The very sentences used in Buqaqum’s letter are found also in Iddiyatum’s letter. Since they wrote from different places, the identical sentences must be a result of the fact that the informant said exactly the same thing to Buqaqum and to Iddiyatum and that both reported exactly what he said.

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It is also possible that Babylon had pledged to Esnuna to withdraw its troops from Karana as Esnunakean troops withdrew from Ekallatum. In that case, Askur-Addu’s statement would have meant that he had nothing against the withdrawal of Babylonian troops from his country. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda was distanced from his powerful ally Esnuna. If the alliance between the two kingdoms survived, it must have become ineffectual. Kurda soon allied itself with the Turukkeans (see next section). The conflict with Andarig and Karana lost its teeth. Iddiyatum reported in 26 524 that Hammu-Rabi of Kurda had complained that sheep from Karana were using his pastureland and wells. 67. Sasiya Cheats Isme-Dagan When Isme-Dagan detained the Esnunakean garrison of Ekallatum, he may have averted disaster for himself for the moment, but he could not have entertained hope of keeping the 500 Esnunakeans in the city against their will indefinitely. He needed to replace them somehow, and an alliance seemed the only way to accomplish this. But with whom? There was open war with Karana and Andarig in the west. He might have turned to Babylon, which had sent him troops before, but Hammu-Rabi had just pulled the rug out from under his feet. His enemy Atamrum was staying in Babylon and poised to return with Babylonian troops. Isme-Dagan decided that the remaining choice was an alliance with the king of the Turukkeans, Sasiya. It was a desperate move. Sasiya was married to Isme-Dagan’s daughter, but this had not prevented him from killing an ally of Isme-Dagan and sending his head to Ekallatum just three months before (26 511). At the present time, a large force of Turukkeans, estimated at 4,000 troops, was reported to have crossed the Tigris and to be marching toward Ekallatum (26 522). Still, Isme-Dagan offered peace, as Buqaqum in 26 491 and Iddiyatum in 26 525 reported. He collected the large sum of 8 talents of silver to be sent to Sasiya, and secured boats to ferry grain from Kawalhum down to Ekallatum. 218 Buqaqum and Iddiyatum added news on Sasiya that could have warned Isme-Dagan about Sasiya’s idea of loyalty: Sasiya submitted to the Qutean Sasum by paying tribute, providing his sons as hostages, and extraditing the king of Simurrum, whom he had earlier granted asylum. Iddiyatum relayed in 26 526 what an Ekallatean messenger and Assyrian merchants had told him about the outcome of Isme-Dagan’s desperate idea to make peace with Sasiya. While the gods were with Sasiya so that Sasiya could swear an oath of allegiance, and while the boats were in Kawalhum to ferry grain to starved Ekallatum, and presumably after the 8 talents of silver were delivered to Sasiya, the latter “tricked” Isme-Dagan. He dispatched 3,000 troops. These must be the “4,000” troops that Iddiyatum mentioned in 26 522. They came right up to the gates of Ekallatum, 218. Lafont suggested in 26/2, 471, that the sum was part of the bride price paid by IsmeDagan for the daughter of Sasiya. It consisted of “gold and silver” according to Yasim-El’s report 2 40. But that report must belong to an earlier time, because it includes the news that Esnuna sent additional soldiers to Ekallatum.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

killed or beat 100 Ekallatean troops, took hundreds of men and women prisoner, attacked the four cities remaining to Isme-Dagan, and ravaged the land all the way down to Kurdissatum. Except for the city of Ekallatum, nothing was spared. The Esnunakean garrison was still in Ekallatum and probably held the city for their own safety. But by the time Iddiyatum wrote his letter, the Esnunakean commander had managed to extract his troops from Ekallatum and was on his way to Esnuna. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda, the former ally of Isme-Dagan, had concluded a treaty with Sasiya. The fall of Ekallatum was imminent. Iddiyatum sent his agents with Assyrian merchants to get the latest news. A curious variation on these events is found in Yasim-El’s short letter 26 425, in which he relayed information received from Iddiyatum. He also mentioned that Sasiya raided Ekallatean territory down to Kurdissatum. He located this action on the east side of the Tigris. The number of troops killed or beaten was now 500. The inhabitants and goods of four cities of Isme-Dagan were carried off, sheep were rounded up in the countryside, and nothing was left for wide stretches. It seems that Isme-Dagan died soon after this. Someone, probably Buqaqum, 219 reported in 26 493 having heard a rumor to this effect. Buqaqum reported on the same or another rumor about Isme-Dagan’s death in 26 495, this time in more detail: a refugee from Ekallatum, who used to live in Ekallatum in the house of someone close to the palace, heard about Isme-Dagan’s death. He noticed that the master of the house kept staying overnight in the palace from that time on. Buqaqum kept asking Ekallateans that came to him but, skeptical as ever, stated that he was unable to confirm the report. Isme-Dagan had a tragic life full of disappointments and hardship. Early on hailed by his father, Samsi-Adad, for his military talents and groomed by him as successor, sensitive to the difficult psychological situation of his brother Yasmah-Addu, he labored for close to fourteen years against the continuous, unstoppable, downslide of the kingdom of Ekallatum, absorbing many humiliations and savoring few successes. For much of this time he was in ill health. At least once he was publicly called a cripple (26 519). He had many enemies and few friends. 68. The Issue of Amaz The rivalry between the great powers of Mari and Esnuna for influence in the Hilly Arc and the Northern Plains had forced the lesser kingdoms in the area to align themselves with one or the other of these powers. The withdrawal of Esnuna from Ekallatum and the decline of the kingdom of Ekallatum allowed them to concentrate on their own affairs, however. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and Himdiya struck out in search of conquests in the Northern Plains, and the hitherto good relations between Andarig and Karana showed some cracks. Little is known about the ac219. Because the city of Parpara is mentioned here and in 26 491, which is a letter from Buqaqum.

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tions of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda. According to Yasim-El’s report 26 430, he mobilized troops and sent them out, and he brought siege equipment to Luhaya, either to lay siege to that city or to use it as a staging area for conquest elsewhere. Yasim-El reported further that Himdiya reacted to Hammu-Rabi’s moves by marching across Mount Sinjar with his and allied Babylonian troops. Yasim-El said, “He went to Subat-Enlil in order to calm the interior of the land” but added that he was actually headed for the city of Amaz according to “those around me.” The destination of Subat-Enlil and the calming of the land were probably for the consumption of Yasim-El. Himdiya surely knew that Mari would be opposed to his actual destination. Amaz was a city in the Northern Plains. The exact location is unknown. It was within the zone of influence of Subat-Enlil and Eluhtum, but since the location of Eluhtum is also unknown, we can say no more than that it was not far from SubatEnlil. Yasim-El had hearsay information that the inhabitants of Amaz had killed their king and turned the rule of the city over to the king of Suna, a city whose location is also unknown. Ekallatum still showed some feeble signs of life. Ekallatean reservists were said to have left Ekallatum. Their destination was unknown. They were regarded as a livestock-rustling party, and Yasim-El warned Buqaqum, who was still in the area. 220 In 26 433, Yasim-El reported that Himdiya took the lower city of Amaz by force and established peace with the inhabitants of the citadel. The former king, Hißriya, who had not been killed, was brought back. Himdiya established good relation between the citizens and their former king and charged him with the administration of the city. The action caused a flap between Mari and Andarig. Zimri-Lim wrote at length to Inbatum, who represented her husband, Atamrum, during his stay in Babylon, and who was also Zimri-Lim’s daughter. She responded in 10 84, stating that she was unaware that Amaz “went behind” Zimri-Lim and was on the contrary convinced that the city had always belonged to Andarig. Sub-Ram, Andarig’s governor in Subat-Enlil, had informed her of the city’s rebellion, and Himdiya had gone there, recovered it, and installed the former king, Hißriya, as mayor. In a letter to Inbatum, Zimri-Lim must have protested the taking of prisoners of war in Amaz. Inbatum replied that Himdiya did not take any prisoners. This turned out to be untrue. Zimri-Lim had also written to Himdiya about the matter, and Yasim-El reported on Himdiya’s response in 26 436. The soldiers, Himdiya asserted, had looted the lower part of the city but not touched the citadel. On the question of prisoners, he stated that, yes, prisoners were taken, but some had already been ransomed. He tried to mollify Zimri-Lim’s reaction to the taking of prisoners by promising to share some with Mari, saying that he would register the remaining prisoners “for the gods to whom my lord assigned me.” These were probably the gods by whom Atamrum had sworn his allegiance to Zimri-Lim. His claim that prisoners were ransomed or would be given to the gods of Mari was not the full truth either. 220. Buqaqum was normally stationed in Suhum, but operated close to Ekallatum during the second half of ZL 11u.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Yasim-El saw some of the prisoners in the Babylonians’ possession. He asked Himdiya to release them, but Himdiya refused. Mari and Andarig were not the only parties with claims on Amaz. In 26 435, Yasim-El included a copy of a letter written by Sukru-Tesub, king of Eluhtum, to Sub-Ram, Atamrum’s governor of Subat-Enlil. Sukru-Tesub also protested the seizure of Amaz, claiming the city as his possession. Sub-Ram knew very well, so he wrote, that the city belonged to him, Sukru-Tesub, because his commissioner was stationed in the city. He deplored the lack of communication between him and Sub-Ram that had brought about the unfortunate affair and expressed his hope that it could be solved by an exchange of messages with “his father,” that is, probably Atamrum. 221 Sukru-Tesub also mentioned that the Amazites had “lifted their hand to the Susean Sub-Ram.” I assume that the addressee of Sukru-Tesub’s letter and the “Susean Sub-Ram” were two persons named Sub-Ram, 222 which leads me to a complex scenario: The Amazites asked the king of Susa to grant them protection and thus cancelled their allegiance to Andarig. The king of Susa delegated the responsibility of protection to the king of Eluhtum for unknown reasons and under unknown circumstances. The king of Eluhtum installed his commissioner in Amaz. Sukru-Tesub mentioned the role of Susa because it resulted in the legitimacy of Eluhtum’s claim on Amaz.

221. Joannès thinks that Sukru-Tesub was referring to Zimri-Lim and believes that SukruTesub attempted to threaten Sub-Ram by involving Zimri-Lim. 222. Joannès, in comment a to 26 435, and Durand, in comment b to LAPO 16 332, believe that the Susean Sub-Ram is none other than the governor Sub-Ram. Earlier, Charpin, who had established the difference between Sub-Ram, king of Susa, and Sub-Ram, governor of Atamrum, had not excluded the possibility that these were two functions of the same person (“Subat-Enlil,” 135 n. 32). Durand, referring to A.3194 (see now Guichard, “Guerre,” 28–29), explained that Sub-Ram lost the kingship of Susa in ZL 9u and became Atamrum’s governor of Subat-Enlil. Joannès and Durand translate the phrase as a question (“Did the Amazeans lift their hand to the Susean Sub-Ram?”). According to the context, it could only be a rhetorical question, begging the answer “no.” Sukru-Tesub was implying that, had the Amazites asked for the help of Sub-Ram, he would have had a legitimate reason to seize the city. This is conceivable. The other case of citizens’ “lifting their hands” is similar. In connection with the siege of Suhpad, Yasim-El stressed his obligation and willingness to seize any city that “lifted its hand” to his lord (26 409). I hesitate to follow Joannès’s and Durand’s interpretation because of SukruTesub’s phrasing. Why would he not say to Sub-Ram, “Did the Amazites lift their hand to you?” And even if it was possible in his style of writing to refer to his interlocutor in the second and the third person, why did he refer to Sub-Ram’s past or other identity? Sukru-Tesub might have been referring to an episode in the past, when he was king of Susa and the Amazites approached him. Yet in this case I would still expect him to say, “Did the Amazites lift their hand to you when you were king of Susa?” Sukru-Tesub’s expressed identification of the Sub-Ram to whom the Amazites lifted their hand as “the Susean Sub-Ram” strongly indicates that he was not SubRam, the addressee of the letter.

Back in the North


69. A Flap between Andarig and Karana As mentioned in §66, the foreman of the Assyrian merchants made a deal with Karana early in the second half of ZL 11u to supply Ekallatum with grain. It was surely in consequence of this deal that an Assyrian caravan of 300 merchants and 300 donkeys came from Ekallatum to Karana. Yasim-El reported in 26 432 that 30 merchants continued on and crossed the border to the kingdom of Andarig en route to Kurda. They were stopped and detained in Allahad by the governor of that city. Yasim-El asked for instructions on whether or not to release them. By the time of his next letter, 26 433, the detaining of the merchants had become a thorny issue. Askur-Addu, having been informed that the merchants were detained in Allahad, had requested their release from Inbatum, Atamrum’s wife. She had answered, saying that she had not received a request for permission for the merchants to pass the border between Karana and Andarig. She would not release the merchants without hearing from Zimri-Lim, who was the lord of the land during the absence of her husband, and to whom she had written already about it. When Yasim-El wrote 26 436, Inbatum had effectively buckled under the pressure exerted on her by Askur-Addu. The latter had repeated his protest and accused her of causing confusion in the land while her husband was absent. She then agreed to release the merchants even if she had not yet received Zimri-Lim’s answer on the matter. Now Yasim-El protested, pointing out that she should have waited for Zimri-Lim’s answer, and canceled the release. Thereupon Inbatum ordered him to release them, explaining that bad relations with Karana might precipitate good relations between Karana and Ekallatum. Askur-Addu had prevailed, but Mari was wary about allowing Assyrian merchants to travel freely through the territories of Karana and Andarig. There had been another incident when 50 merchants sent by Isme-Dagan passed Karanean and probably also Andarigite territory on their way to Anatolia. Zimri-Lim sent Yasim-El to Karana in order to get control of this issue, and Yasim-El reported about his mission in A.285. He was accompanied by Mari’s representative in Karana, Iddiyatum, and the roving envoy Belsunu, and the three consulted with Askur-Addu and his advisers. The group worked out a procedure for handling future border crossings between Karana and Andarig. Ekallatean citizens, including Assyrian merchants, were allowed into Karana. They could cross the border to Andarig as long as they carried a pass sealed by Askur-Addu. If they, or any Numha, entered without a pass, their fate was entirely in the hands of the authorities in Andarig. 223 70. Sadu-Sarrum Finally Goes to Mari The king of Azuhinum was expected to visit Mari in ZL 10u, but he did not come then. 224 At the time that Himdiya went to seize Amaz, Yasim-El reported in 223. Joannès narrated the affair of Amaz and the flap between Andarig and Karana in “Une expedition dans la région de Shoubat-Enlil,” Les Dossiers d’Archéologie 155 (1990), 42–48. 224. See §51.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

26 431 of having heard that Sadu-Sarrum “goes” to Zimri-Lim, which may mean that he was already underway or expected to go. When the Assyrian merchants were detained in Allahad, Yasim-El urged Zimri-Lim to write Atamrum’s governor in Suhpad in connection with Sadu-Sarrum’s trip and/or the transport of his gifts (26 432). Apparently Yasim-El did not have the authority to do this himself. On 10 IX, Sadu-Sarrum arrived in Andarig, and on the same day he proceeded on his way to Mari (26 435). 225

F. North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations 71. Conquest of Maskan-Sapir Babylon and Larsa were the only kingdoms left in southern Mesopotamia during the reign of Zimri-Lim. As such, they competed and must have continually been scheming to gain the upper hand and remove the only remaining antagonist in the area. Events put that antagonism on the back burner. During the early years of Zimri-Lim, it was the rivalry between Esnuna and Babylon that drove Babylonian politics. After the Elamite-Mariote-Babylonian alliance succeeded in toppling Esnuna, Elam became the foremost menace in southern Mesopotamia. Because conflict with Elam was looming, Larsa and Babylon had a brief thaw of relations when they shared information about Elamite designs at the end of ZL 8u. When war broke out, Larsa remained on the sidelines. Rim-Sin promised to support Hammu-Rabi if Elam turned against Babylon, but the promise turned out to be empty. He also sheltered soldiers from Kasalluk, who had defected from Babylonian command. With the end of the war with Elam, the relationship between Babylon and Larsa deteriorated. The Mariote envoy in Babylon, Yarim-Addu, said that Larsean soldiers had trespassed on Babylonian territory, and Rim-Sin had become an enemy of HammuRabi (26 372). As Hammu-Rabi explained it to the unknown author of 26 385, the great gods showed much kindness to the king of Larsa after they “tore the claw of the Elamite” from the land, but he did not repay their kindness. Instead Larsa attacked him repeatedly. So he asked Samas and Marduk whether he should counterattack. The gods answered affirmatively. To the observer, Hammu-Rabi’s words smack of self-serving political propaganda and Yarim-Addu’s report smacks of being influenced by it. Why would Larsa choose to start hassling Babylon with border incursions and make itself an enemy of Hammu-Rabi just when Babylon’s hands were free to act again? It seems to me more likely that Babylon was the aggressor and Larsa’s incursions were in reaction to it, or directed at territory claimed and annexed by Babylon, or crude fabrication. Additionally, Hammu-Rabi’s reaction to 225. Administrative text 24 30 registers domestic and wild ungulates that were received from him in Mari in the 6th month of ZL 11u, which may have been sent in anticipation of Sadu-Sarrum’s visit.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


Larsa’s hostility surpassed by far any measured response to the “repeated attacks” mentioned in 26 385. Hammu-Rabi opened full-scale war on Larsa by sending his troops and allied Mariote troops—again commanded by Ibal-Pi-El and Zimri-Addu—to seize Maskan-Sapir, the second city of the kingdom of Larsa, telling them that Larsa had violated the oath of Marduk and Samas. He instructed the troops to spare the city if it opened its gates. Soon after, Rim-Sin’s brother Sin-Muballi†, his three generals, and troops in unknown multiples of thousands found themselves besieged in MaskanSapir by the Babylonians. There were no sorties; at least none are reported. The city was expected to open its gates and the land to change allegiance to Hammu-Rabi. To the writer of 26 385 (his name is lost in a break) Hammu-Rabi showed himself very grateful for the help of Mari and credited Zimri-Lim for being the only true supporter besides the gods. Troops of Malgum were expected to join the BabylonianMariote force. Yasim-Hammu reported the fall of Maskan-Sapir in 26 383. The entire land of Yamutbal hailed Hammu-Rabi as their new lord, and Hammu-Rabi led the Babylonian and Yamutbalean troops south to lay siege to Larsa in the Babylonian intercalary month at the end of the year. 226 Yasim-Hammu also relayed the information that The Vizier of Elam had died and that Hammu-Rabi was happy about it. Elam was no threat to Babylon at the moment, so Hammu-Rabi’s happiness betrayed his personal animosity, which contrasted with his rational and diplomatic relations with the living Vizier. But his happiness may have been premature (see the next section). Last, Yasim-Hammu reported about two groups of messengers. One was caught in front of the gate of Larsa. The messengers were from far-away Qa†anum. The others were Esnunakean messengers, who had been staying, presumably in confinement, in an unnamed Babylonian city, and were now brought to some village and guarded. The deterioration of their condition mirrored the deterioration of relations between Esnuna and Babylon. It may have been connected with the alliance between Esnuna and Ekallatum that threatened the stability of the Hilly Arc: during the siege of Larsa 4,000 or 6,000 Esnunakean troops were said to have been sent to Isme-Dagan (26 378). Some of them entered Razama and were expected to continue on to the cities of the Hilly Arc at the time of Habdu-Malik’s mission there in I 11u. 227 72. During the Siege of Larsa The loss of Maskan-Sapir demonstrated that Larsa’s power was on the downswing, but it was still a formidable city, and the siege dragged on for a long time. The documentation is not very good, presumably because little was happening. SarrumÍululi reported in 26 378 that he had arrived with his troops outside Larsa and pitched camp. The besiegers were engaged in the laborious task of constructing an earthen ramp. Letter 26 379 also was probably written during the siege. It provides 226. See Anbar, NABU 1995 65. 227. See §58.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

an indication of the magnitude of the military contest between Larsa and Babylon: Hammu-Rabi was apprehensive about the high number of enemy troops and levied more troops in order to take on a force of 40,000. An Audience in the Camp Outside Larsa Yasim-Hammu reported in 26 384 on an audience of Mariote and Ekallatean messengers with Hammu-Rabi in Dildaba. This place was located near Larsa and was presumably the location of the Babylonian siege camp. The letter is a lively report on a lively audience. It provides a rare glimpse of Hammu-Rabi in action, revealing a combative and uncompromising person. He mercilessly put the Ekallateans on the spot, probably to the delight of Yasim-Hammu and the other Mariotes present. According to custom, Mariotes and Ekallateans were expected to attend the audience together and deliver their messages openly. But the Ekallateans did not want the Mariotes, who were their professional colleagues but also allies of their enemies Andarig and Karana, to hear their message and refused to enter with them. Sin-BelAplim, the Babylonian “vizier of foreigners,” insisted that the two parties enter together, and the Ekallateans had to deliver their message in front of the Mariotes after all. In the message, Isme-Dagan complained of having been treated unfairly by Babylon despite the fact that he had made sacrifices on behalf of Babylon during the Elamite war. Later, when Sasiya attacked his land, he had expected Hammu-Rabi to return the favor and requested troops. Babylon did not send troops to him but sent them elsewhere. At this point Hammu-Rabi interrupted, apparently irritated about the inclusion of a hint in the message, and asked the Ekallateans to reveal where he had dispatched troops. He ordered them to do so “5, 6, times.” In the end they gave in. The place was Andarig; the number of troops was 400. After this give and take, the messengers concluded their message. 228 Hammu-Rabi was not convinced that the message was complete. He asked whether there was a confidential part to their message. They denied it and pleaded with Hammu-Rabi not to be so hard on them. Hammu-Rabi called on the Babylonian messenger who had escorted the Ekallateans as their “companion” and knew their entire message. 229 He ordered him to finish it. The Babylonian repeated the message that the Ekallateans had delivered and added the end, which they had not. It contained a complaint by Isme-Dagan about having been forced by Hammu-Rabi to address Zimri-Lim as his father and thereby acknowledge his own inferior rank. Mari was the more powerful kingdom at the time, but Isme-Dagan clung to the past, when his father had ruled Mari. He protested against Hammu-Rabi’s instruction, and asked whether Zimri-Lim was not his, IsmeDagan’s, servant. Hammu-Rabi did not hide his indignation, interrupting the deliv228. Five lines are missing at this point. They may not have included additional content of the message but instead may have described the manner in which the audience was concluded. 229. Messengers of the kingdoms that exchanged messages often worked in tandem. They knew the content of the other’s message verbatim, as the present passage shows. See Lafont, “Messagers,” 182, who highlights the testimony of the present passage.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


ery of the message again, this time with the exclamation “I am robbed,” the Akkadian expression of indignation, exasperation, and frustration. Thereupon, the Ekallateans beat a hasty retreat, claiming that there was a misunderstanding. IsmeDagan had really complained about having to address Atamrum, not Zimri-Lim, as father. Hammu-Rabi did not let them get away with this attempt at face-saving. He reminded them that he had written to Isme-Dagan unmistakably that Zimri-Lim was equal in rank to him, Hammu-Rabi, and that Isme-Dagan was inferior in rank to both of them. The last part of the message, as preserved on the damaged tablet, was another complaint, less important but probably equally bitter: when Isme-Dagan stayed in Babylon, his gift was not accepted and his opinion was not respected, while the Mariote messengers were dined with the best that a Babylonian royal kitchen had to offer. The letter contains a good clue about the time when it was written. The 400 Babylonian troops sent to Atamrum according to the Ekallateans were presumably the 300 Babylonian troops that were stationed in Andarig in mid-ZL 11u. 230 Atamrum’s Visit When the war against the kingdom of Larsa was essentially a siege of the city of Larsa, Atamrum visited Hammu-Rabi in Babylon. He departed from Andarig in III 11u, possibly late in the month, perhaps even early in the 4th month, and went to Mari. 231 It is not known how long he stayed there. Meptum reported in A.162 that he crossed the border from Mariote to Babylonian territory by boat. The Mariote boats transporting him and his Mariote escorts did not stop at the border in Hit, because there were no Babylonian boats available there, but continued on to Rapiqum. Zimri-Addu and Menirum reported on his arrival near Larsa in 27 164. The Babylonians had prepared Atamrum’s quarters in “the tower of Ninurta-Nisu,” which was about 2 km from the Mariote camp. But Menirum, who was escorting him from Mari to Larsa, had already written Zimri-Addu that Atamrum would stay in the Mariote camp, and a house had been built for him there. Atamrum stayed a day in the tower and then asked for permission to stay with the troops of “his father Zimri-Lim.” The question of his quarters was symptomatic of his position: he was essentially a client of two lords who vied for influence on him. In their letter, Zimri-Addu and Menirum reported on his first meeting with Hammu-Rabi. They said Atamrum sat on a chair facing Hammu-Rabi when they entered. Menirum delivered the message of Zimri-Lim, and Hammu-Rabi reacted graciously to it and assured them that he would speak forthrightly with Atamrum and dispatch him back without delay. When he rose to go, Atamrum prostrated. Some subtle discrepancies seem to be lurking beneath the surface of the report. Why did Zimri-Addu and Menirum describe Atamrum’s conduct before Hammu-Rabi, 230. They are attested from 5 VI 11u (26 423) onward. 231. See the end of §63.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

noting that Atamrum sat on a chair when the Mariotes entered and prostrated when Hammu-Rabi left. Would we not expect him to have stood before Hammu-Rabi if he prostrated later? Royal servants stood before the king on cylinder seals, and kings did not prostrate before other kings. 232 Was Atamrum Hammu-Rabi’s servant or a king in his own right, even if junior in rank? Zimri-Addu mentioned another instance of precisely this discrepancy in 27 162: messengers of Atamrum were, as he put it, “mixed up” when they presented a message from Atamrum to Hammu-Rabi. They referred to Atamrum one time as Hammu-Rabi’s servant and another time as his son. Another odd feature is Hammu-Rabi’s assurance that he would dispatch Atamrum without delay, as if he were Zimri-Lim’s emissary. Atamrum’s move to the Mariote camp and his declaration that he would stay with the troops of “his father” are also remarkable. He used to call Zimri-Lim his “big brother” when his actual power was rather less. I have the impression that Hammu-Rabi and Atamrum were charading before Zimri-Addu and Menirum, wanting to hide plans that were directed against Mari. Zimri-Addu and Menirum were not fooled and relayed their rather keen observations, leaving it to Zimri-Lim to draw his own conclusions. The future would show that Hammu-Rabi did not dispatch Atamrum quickly, that he prevented him from returning to Mari, and that he used him as an instrument to lessen Mari’s influence in the Hilly Arc. 73. Before the Fall of Larsa Sarrum-Íululi, who was stationed with his contingent of troops in a camp near Larsa at the time of the siege, succeeded in befriending two of Hammu-Rabi’s courtiers and obtaining inside information from them. He reported on it in 26 381. The text is not well preserved, but fragments of a speech by Hammu-Rabi are indicative of how little we know: The Elamites were involved again somehow, possibly in a military encounter at Maskan-Sar. Hammu-Rabi stated his intention of taking Larsa and mentioned that he would be worshiping the gods in observation of the 30th of the month. It was believed to be a good sign when the new moon that ushers in the month appeared on the 31st day after the last new moon, thus allowing a 30th day to the previous month. It is also known that solar eclipses, which were regarded as bad signs, occurred during this time. While Hammu-Rabi was concerned about the conquest of Larsa, the Mariotes were concerned about obtaining troops from him. Sarrum-Íululi and a colleague, whose identity is lost in a break of the text, urged Hammu-Rabi to provide troops. Hammu-Rabi put off a decision on their request until after the expected fall of Larsa. The Mariotes suggested as temporary solution the dispatch of a token 1,000 or 2,000 Babylonian troops to Mari so that “the allies” would hear it. But all they achieved was Hammu-Rabi’s standard promise to act within five days. If by that time Larsa had not fallen, he would dispatch a 232. This follows from a passage in 26 21, in which the king of Aleppo informs Asqudum that his ambassador would represent his person in Mari and therefore would not prostrate. See the interpretation of Durand in NABU 1990 24.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


token 1,000 troops, and if the city had fallen, he would dispatch whatever was written in the broken first part of line 24u of the text. Abi-Mekim had been sent to Babylonia in order to bring troops up to Mari and reported on his mission in 26 471. This was the second time in two years that he had come to Babylon with the mission of convincing Hammu-Rabi to send troops to Mari. 233 He may have been the colleague whom Sarrum-Íululi mentioned in his report. If so, Abi-Mekim spoke of the same audience with Hammu-Rabi. 234 He said that, after he delivered Zimri-Lim’s message, Hammu-Rabi promised to give him shock troops if Larsa were conquered in five days. Subsequently, in the same audience or at a later occasion, another Mariote royal servant, Ahi-Erra, spoke to Hammu-Rabi. Abi-Mekim’s report of what Ahi-Erra said is not preserved, but Hammu-Rabi’s answer shows that Ahi-Erra must have requested the immediate dispatch of troops, even if they were lightly armed. Hammu-Rabi rejected the idea. He reiterated the promise to dispatch troops in 5 days, but this time he offered an option: if Larsa had fallen by then, they would be shock troops; if not, they would be any troops that he could spare. 74. The Fall of Larsa Larsa’s fall is reported in the short but revealing letter 26 386 by a certain Yeskit-El. The writer described his general impression of the final assault in a way that must have pleased Zimri-Lim but rings true nevertheless. He marveled at the zeal of the Hana and credited the god of Zimri-Lim for breaking the arms of the enemy. The “zeal of the Hana” is an interesting characterization. It indicates that Hana could be outstanding fighters and that the success of Zimri-Lim as king of Mari and king of the Hana was not in small measure based on this trait. 235 Zimri-Addu also wrote a report, 27 156, on the fall of the city, but the text is badly broken. All that remains is the information that in the last phase of the siege the citizens had run out of grain and that the Babylonian entered the city in the early morning and brought King Rim-Sin out alive. Zimri-Addu added in 27 158 the information that they brought Rim-Sin and his belongings to Babylon. He was an old man, in his 60th regnal year. Zimri-Addu had been instructed by Zimri-Lim to bring the Mariote and the Babylonian troops that had been promised by Hammu-Rabi to Mari as soon as Larsa 233. For the first mission, see §36. 234. This is Charpin’s view. See his comment e to 26 381. He believes that 2 23 of Ibal-PiEl and an unpublished letter of an unidentified author also were reports from this audience. In 26/2, 156, Charpin links 2 23 with events that he dates to ZL 12u. Yet 26 381 dates from before the fall of Larsa, which happened in the middle of ZL 11u. I believe 2 23 was written in IV 9u. See §36 and my note, NABU 2000 35. 235. The cliché that nomads are conditioned by their lifestyle to be effective fighters may be only half the truth. They were also less likely to have slaves than their settled peers and thus could not send replacements to military service.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

fell. He quoted this instruction in 27 157, and, while he did not state that he was unable or felt unable to do so, this must have been the case. He indicated that the mission was not yet over, pointing out that Hammu-Rabi himself had stayed on in the city of Larsa in order to stabilize the situation, and asking for further instruction. When he wrote 27 158 to report that the Babylonian army was taking down the defenses of Larsa, he excused his continued stay outside Larsa as being due to the lack of response to his request for further instruction. It appears that Hammu-Rabi was not ready or willing to send the Mariote troops home or to send a contingent of his own shock troops along. After the fall of Maskan-Sapir the entire land of Yamutbal was reported to have been happy and to have hailed the victor. The fall of Larsa, however, seems to have left gloom and despair. Zimri-Addu speaks about it in 27 161. He had received instructions from Zimri-Lim to buy lapis lazuli in Larsa. The entire land of Larsa, according to Zimri-Addu, was in fear. The people had brought their livestock into their houses and did not let them out of “the gate,” presumably the city gate. The countryside was not safe. Suteans had taken advantage of the situation. About 50 of them were ensconced in a place some 30 km distant and kept approaching Larsa, capturing a person here and a person there, carrying off grain, and returning for more. Hammu-Rabi sent out a force of 200 Babylonian troops against them and asked Zimri-Addu to contribute 100 troops. Zimri-Addu enlisted 50 Hana and 50 Suheans. They conducted themselves very well, managing to kill 6 Suteans and capture 3. Hammu-Rabi rewarded them generously. Hammu-Rabi also took the opportunity to give presents to the remaining 650 troops under the command of Zimri-Addu. He may have wanted to buy himself some good will at a time when the troops, expecting to return home, were still being kept in Babylonia. Zimri-Addu’s search for lapis lazuli was in vain. As instructed, he went to the merchant Isar-Lim, who also had no lapis lazuli. Isar-Lim explained that nobody was coming from Susim (Susa of Elam). Another item in Zimri-Addu’s letter concerned Erib-Sin, the diviner who had accompanied a contingent of troops from Mari to Babylonia in ZL 9u and was again, or still, with the troops in Babylonia. Erib-Sin had approached Zimri-Addu, telling him that he was charged by Zimri-Lim with making extispicies together with the Babylonian diviners and reporting on them. Erib-Sin had run into difficulties and wanted Zimri-Addu to talk to Hammu-Rabi so that this joint divination could take place. Zimri-Addu complied and reported that Hammu-Rabi refused to employ Erib-Sin for any further extispicies. Erib-Sin himself wrote Zimri-Lim that he was not allowed to work with the Babylonian diviners. His letter, 26 96, is dated to the 5th month. Zimri-Addu’s letter, 27 161, is roughly contemporaneous, if indeed the Erib-Sin affair in both letters is one and the same. 236 The date is corroborated by

236. Note that the restorations of the passage in 27 161 are based on this assumption. I follow Birot’s comment k.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


25 9, which registers a present from Zimri-Lim for Hammu-Rabi “when he seized Larsa” on 17 VI 11u. 75. Atamrum’s Return from Babylonia Buqaqum reported from Suhum in 26 497 that Zimri-Addu and Kibsi-Addu had written him. They were finally on the way home from Babylonia and had arrived in Sippir. The troops they were bringing home were well, and Menirum would depart Babylon and join them in Sippir in two days. Presumably at the same time, ZimriAddu and Kibsi-Addu wrote 27 167. What remains of their report is concerned with Atamrum. They quoted him as talking about his own return from Babylon, particularly his reluctance to go by way of Mari. Atamrum gave an incursion into his land that would not allow him to detour 40 miles to Mari as the reason. 237 Zimri-Addu and Kibsi-Addu thought he would leave the Euphrates route at Id or Harbe and reach Andarig by way of the steppe. In 26 439, a fragment of their next letter, Zimri-Addu, Kibsi-Addu, and presumably Menirum, told Zimri-Lim what they had told Atamrum, that it would be an insult to bypass Mari. He had been sent to Babylon with instructions from his “father” in Mari, so he should return to his “father” to report. Atamrum was not moved. He would go to Andarig by way of the steppe. About this time, Buqaqum, in 26 498, relayed information from the three Mariotes. They had been somewhere downstream from a place called Tamarisk, which was downstream from Harbe in southernmost Suhum. They were about to depart for Yabliya. Atamrum was expected to leave the Euphrates route at Tamarisk, Harbe, or Yabliya. Buqaqum also mentioned that Atamrum was accompanied by 8,000 Babylonian troops. When he later saw these troops, he estimated them at 6,000 (26 500). By the time he sent 26 499, Buqaqum knew that Atamrum and the Babylonian troops would be staying overnight in Id, then crossing the Euphrates at Sa Baßim, and proceeding by the steppe route on the plateau along the Euphrates. Buqaqum would leave to meet them at Yabliya, meet up with Atamrum, and report. Letter 26 500 is that report. He first met with and debriefed Zimri-Addu, Menirum, Kibsi-Addu; then he met Atamrum and asked him point-blank about his route. Atamrum could not or would not make a decision right then but promised to tell him in Sapiratum. He would again take the faster route on the plateau. Buqaqum promised to report again from Sapiratum. This report has not been found or identified. 238 Buqaqum’s last known report is the short letter 26 501. He was in Haradum close to the border of the district of Mari. He stated that everything was fine. “His” lord Atamrum, he himself, and the troops were safe, and the king need not be concerned. This assurance is repeated at the end of the letter. Buqaqum was 237. This would be about 450 km, which constitutes a gross exaggeration. Going to Andarig from Id in a straight line as opposed to taking a route through Mari, Saggaratum, and Qa††unan would have saved him about half that much. 238. It is hardly 26 496, which is a short note that includes the statement that Atamrum passed by and that the short days and the cold were back.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

clearly worried that the king would be concerned. Nothing was said about Atamrum’s itinerary. Atamrum may still have been with Buqaqum in Haradum, as suggested by Buqaqum’s statement that Atamrum was fine. But in that case, Atamrum would have been so close to Mari that a shortcut would have ceased to be a credible excuse for not going all the way to Mari. We know that Atamrum did not go to Mari. Buqaqum called Atamrum “my lord” in this letter, an expression that was hardly fitting for a man who was about to do or had just done an outrageous, insulting thing by skipping his visit with Zimri-Lim. The expression rings of sympathy. Was Atamrum coerced and acted against his will? Perhaps he had been sincere in his loyalty to Mari all along—when he offended the Babylonians by demonstrating his loyalty to Zimri-Lim at the start of the treaty negotiations with Askur-Addu in Íidqum and when he changed quarters in Babylonia to stay with the troops of “his father” Zimri-Lim. Perhaps Hammu-Rabi had some power over him that he resented. The Babylonian troops may have leaned on him to go straight to Andarig at the outset, and he may have convinced them somehow to follow the Euphrates route, promising to turn east into the steppe at Id and head straight toward Andarig, then promising again at Tamarisk, Harbe, Yabliya, and Sapiratum until at or before Haradum the Babylonian troops forced him to abandon his increasingly obvious intention to go to Mari after all. 239 The Mariote agent in Andarig, surely Yasim-El, wrote a report in 26 438, that was sent on 29 IX, after Atamrum’s return to Andarig. The Babylonian troops were stationed in Allahad and Andarig. Yasim-El described the number of troops as “extensive,” a statement that can be compared with Buqaqum’s information (6,000 troops). Yasim-El reported that Zimri-Lim’s men in Andarig, his agents and the officers of the Mariote garrison, were barred from the dinner round. Yatar-Salim, Haqba-Hammu’s brother, came from Karana, but Yasim-El was not called in when he gave his report. The next day, Haqba-Hammu himself came. Again, Yasim-El was not called in. The Babylonians had taken over. They had their audience with Atamrum “before the crack of dawn.” Yasim-El was side-lined. He protested to Atamrum and the Babylonians, to no avail. Zimri-Lim had anticipated the new situation. At the time of the letter, Yasim-El had already received instructions to make a last attempt at convincing Atamrum to come to Mari. If the attempt failed, he should take the Mariote troops and leave. Yasim-El went to Atamrum and told him what ZimriAddu, Menirum, and Kibsi-Addu had told him already—that his behavior was an insult. Atamrum’s response is broken. If he made an attempt to go to Mari, he never reached it. 76. Babylon Builds a Bridgehead at Allahad Atamrum’s return to Andarig was his last documented act. He must have died, or more likely been killed, shortly thereafter. His death must have been dramatic 239. Birot also felt that Atamrum had in fact been a hostage of the Babylonians ever since they had stationed troops in Andarig (27, 35).

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


news, but the available texts contain no indication of the way he died. Zimri-Lim referred to the event in general terms in two letters. He wrote Iddiyatum (13 97) and his wife Sibtu (26 185-bis) that Atamrum had brought evil upon Mari and that a god had called him to account. If Atamrum was a virtual hostage of the Babylonians, Zimri-Lim’s words were not generous. The evil that he brought was surely the Babylonians. There were 300 of them in Andarig before Atamrum returned from Babylonia; Atamrum brought 6,000 more. A whopping 20,000 more came up after his death. The first we hear about them is in 2 122, a letter that Meptum wrote from Suhum to Askur-Addu in Karana. Meptum reported that he had been informed four days before sending his tablet that 10,000 Babylonian troops had “crossed from Sippir.” They probably crossed the steppe instead of marching along the river. The steppe route skirted Suhum and avoided conflict with Mari. The troops were accompanied by the Ekallatean Mutu-Hadqim, who was no friend of Mari (26 104), and led by Hulalum, whom they would later install as king of Allahad. Meptum told Askur-Addu to forward this urgent news to Zimri-Lim. Zimri-Lim was campaigning in the north. The campaign had resulted in the conquest of Aslakka, which would be celebrated in the name of Zimri-Lim’s next (and last) regnal year. Considering the reluctance of the ancients to campaign in winter, the date of Meptum’s letter is probably very late ZL 11u or very early ZL 12u. Askur-Addu forwarded Meptum’s letter to Zimri-Lim and wrote 26 440-bis as a cover letter. 240 He repeated the information and added that Meptum “came to the rescue” and that he, Askur-Addu, was keeping his troops in the strongholds until the situation cleared up. Meptum and Askur-Addu apparently perceived the Babylonian action as a threat to Karana. Letter 26 440 was written a little later, also by Askur-Addu, as Abrahami recognized. Himdiya had succeeded Atamrum as king of Andarig. Askur-Addu had definite information on the number of Babylonian troops. There were 20,000. Meptum received information with the same number from 2 Suheans who were among the 20,000. They had run away and reached a certain Halu-Rabi, who relayed their story to Meptum in A.19. The 2 Suheans also knew details about their route, which is unfortunately not understandable, and their leadership. The latter included Nabum-Malik and Rim-Addu, in addition to Mutu-Hadqim. Like Mutu-Hadqim, Rim-Addu was an Ekallatean and also no friend of Mari (26 104). 77. Inbatum’s Troubles After Atamrum’s death, but before Himdiya’s accession to the throne of Andarig, 241 widowed Inbatum, Zimri-Lim’s daughter, wanted to go home to Mari. According to custom, she and the other members of Atamrum’s harem would have been incorporated into the harem of the new king, forming a harem within a harem, 240. This was recognized by Abrahami. See his note, NABU 1992 1. 241. The first attestation of Himdiya as king of Andarig is an unpublished administrative text dated 10+[n] II 12u (26/2, 242 n. 34).


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

as Ziegler calls the phenomenon. 242 But she also faced a dramatic deterioration of her status. She had been Atamrum’s principal wife, representing her husband during his stay in Babylon, but the incoming king, Himdiya, moved her and the other women of Atamrum’s harem from the capital to a village and deprived her of all personal attendants. She described her diminished status in 10 29+, a letter to her father’s secretary, mentioning the fact that she did not have even a maid to wash her feet as being Himdiya’s most outrageous discourtesy. She told him that she was determined to return to Mari and asked him to send her an attendant as soon as he heard of her departure. Inbatum certainly sent another letter to her father that arrived with the other letter. It is lost or not identified or not published yet. ZimriLim, who was not necessarily concerned about the fate of his daughters, did take one step to bring her back. He instructed Buqaqum to see to her return on the occasion of a mission to the kingdoms of the Hilly Arc in the aftermath of Atamrum’s death. Buqaqum saw, or corresponded with, Inbatum when he was in Andarig and learned that she was in dire straits and very anxious to go home to Mari. He then went to Kurda and Karana. On his way back to Andarig, in Raßum, he wrote Inbatum 26 502. He told her that he was aware of her unhappiness and anxiety to go home, but he had been held up with his chores. He still would have to wrap up things in Andarig, including recovering her throne—this was the chair that came with her to Andarig at the time of her marriage, the throne of her role as queen, which reverted to her father’s possession at the expiration of her queenship. If that was done he would be writing her again and she could be happy on that day because it would mean that her return home would be imminent. 243 Buqaqum would have needed Himdiya’s consent to take Inbatum home. We do not know whether she ever saw Mari again. It may be mentioned that the relationship between Zimri-Lim and Himdiya may have been rather complex. At the time of Atamrum’s stay in Babylonia, right after Himdiya had left for Subat-Enlil, Yasim-El wrote in 26 429 that he was safeguarding the secret “tablets” that Zimri-Lim had sent to him. A little later, in the aftermath of the conquest of Amaz and at a time when Atamrum was away from his kingdom, Yasim El mentioned in 26 435 that he had told Himdiya of Zimri-Lim’s request to visit Mari. It clearly was an inappropriate request, and Himdiya answered, as he should have, that it was not proper to come without asking Atamrum. Did Zimri-Lim already know that Atamrum would betray his allegiance to Mari and therefore attempted to place Himdiya on the throne? Himdiya rebuked Zimri-Lim’s initiative. He may not have been inclined to ingratiate himself with Mari by letting Inbatum go.

242. FM 4 (1999), 33, regarding the harem of Yasmah-Addu that was included in Zimri-Lim’s harem. For other examples, see Ziegler’s article “Le harem du vaincu,” in RA 93 (1999), 1–20. 243. For the discussion of this interpretation, see E. Salgues’s and my note, NABU 2000 31 concerning 26 502 and my note in NABU 2002 60 concerning 10 29+.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


78. End of Zimri-Lim and Mari The establishment of Babylonian control of Upper Yamutbal that took the form of partitioning Atamrum’s kingdom into the kingdoms of Allahad and Andarig; the installation of a Babylonian puppet king, Hulalum, in Allahad; and the stationing of 20,000 Babylonian troops in the area effectively superseded Mariote control. We can only speculate on the reason for the large investment of Babylonian troops. The year-name for Hammu-Rabi’s 32d regnal year documents a Babylonian defeat of Esnuna in ZL 12u. The deployment of troops in Upper Yamutbal would have allowed the Babylonians to open a second front against Esnuna, and it would have neutralized the danger of an alliance between Mari and Esnuna. The name of HammuRabi’s 33d regnal year documents a Babylonian defeat of Mari in the year after ZL 12u. It should have happened right at the beginning of that year because the lastknown documents of a working administration of Mari under Zimri-Lim date to the last month of ZL 12u. 244 The Babylonian base in Upper Yamutbal could have again served as the staging point for a second front, this time against Mari. An important factor affecting the stability of the area must have been the stance of Kurda. A.3577, the name of whose author is lost, contains a report on the deliberations of an assembly in which Hammu-Rabi of Kurda and his subjects, “Numha, all of them,” considered questions of political allegiance. Hammu-Rabi reviewed the relations of Kurda with Mari during Zimri-Lim’s reign, stating that Zimri-Lim had been on the side of Andarig at the time of Qarni-Lim and Atamrum, and that it was to be expected that he would now side with Himdiya against Kurda. Therefore, he proposed cooperating with the Babylonians and regarding “Simªal,” that is Mari, as an enemy. His subjects disagreed. Yes, they were on good terms with the Babylonians, but Simªal was their brother and they would always have to live close to him. The disagreement between king and vox populi was a compromise: he would wait and see, and they would [ ] Zimri-Lim. The words of Hammu-Rabi of Kurda as reported by the unknown writer include a strange inconsistency: on the one hand, he feared that Mari would make common cause with Himdiya against Kurda; on the other hand, he proposed common cause with Babylon against Mari. Yet Himdiya was installed as king by Babylon (26 440) and was no friend of Mari and Zimri-Lim. Hammu-Rabi of Kurda was perhaps so wedded to the decision to rupture his relationship with Mari once and for all, a decision that he had made at the time of the peace initiative of Habdu-Malik, that he overlooked the fact that the political constellation had changed. 245 Nothing much is known about the third major power in the Hilly Arc, Karana. The kingdom was physically separated from Mari by the Babylonian presence and the stance of Kurda. However loyal Askur-Addu may have been to his perennial 244. See Sasson’s tabulation of the dates and contents of administrative records from ZL 12u in “King,” 467. 245. See §60.


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

supporter, Zimri-Lim, he could not help him now, and if he needed help, Mari could not render it. The positioning of a large contingent of Babylonian troops in upper Yamutbal was accompanied by anti-Mariote behavior on the part of Atamrum and the Babylonians alike, which led to the withdrawal of Mariote troops from Andarig. There is evidence that the Babylonian presence in upper Yamutbal was felt as a threat to Mari after Atamrum’s death. This information is found in Zimri-Lim’s letter to his wife Siptu 26 185-bis, which is quoted above in §76. After stating that Atamrum had died because he had brought evil upon Mari (and “evil,” under the circumstances, can only be a reference to Babylon), Zimri-Lim asked his wife to ask the gods whether Hammu-Rabi of Babylon would die, tell the truth, wage war against Mari, or come up and besiege Mari. At this point we come to the end of meaningful information on the reign of Zimri-Lim and the events that led to its end and the end of Mari as a political center. We are left with the testimony of administrative records that span ZL 12u. They were tabulated by Sasson. 246 It appears that the king was in the area of Aslakka in the first month. Since the conquest of that city was celebrated in the name of ZL 12u, that conquest probably happened in early spring at the very end of ZL 11u, and the king lingered in the area for another month. During that time he received presents from Sub-Ram, surely the king of Susa with that name, and from potentates in the immediate vicinity of Aslakka. At the end of the 2d, beginning of the 3d month, he set siege to, or planned the siege of, Sinah near Urgis. In the 3d month, presents for Askur-Addu were registered in Urgis. In the 4th month, various transactions were registered in Ilan-Íura. In the 5th month, a transaction in Qa††unan was made “when the king returned,” Siptu went to meet her husband in Saggaratum, and he reached Mari on the 26th. The only hints regarding external relations for the rest of the year are deliveries of wine from Ursum on the upper Euphrates and gifts for the king of Kar-Kamis. In the 8th month, gifts were sent to the king of Esnuna and to Hammu-Rabi, either the king of Kurda or, more likely, the king of Babylon. The present to Esnuna is remarkable because it shows that Esnuna was not yet conquered by Babylon or that the news of the conquest had not yet reached Mari. Epistolary documentation for ZL 12u appears to be missing. Charpin suggested as a reason the conjecture that Zimri-Lim, who used to place the letters that reached him on campaign in an archive in his palace in Mari after his return, may not have returned from his last campaign to stay at his palace. 247 But Zimri-Lim returned to Mari, 248 and there is no proof that he did not stay at his palace. Given the fact that letters were mostly left undated, some of the letters we have may actually 246. See n. 244. 247. Charpin, “La fin des archives dans le palais de Mari,” RA 89 (1995), 39 n. 39. 248. Villard, “Le déplacement des trésors royaux d’après les archives royales de Mari,” RAI XXXVIII, 199 with n. 36.

North and South Become a Single Theater of Operations


date to ZL 12u without our being able to prove it today. 249 There may have been little mail anyway. There was no Iddiyatum in Karana, no Yasim-El in Andarig, and apparently no stationary Mariote agent in Idamaraß to report what went on in these areas. If a Mariote representative remained in Kurda, he would have been cut off from important information. Reports from Suhum by Buqaqum and Meptum do not seem to exist. It is to be expected that we would recognize reports from the area about the approach of the hostile Babylonian army that eventually conquered Mari. Durand thought that A.19 was such a report, 250 but this text refers to the 20,000 Babylonian troops who went up to Allahad at the end of ZL 11u, at least eight months before the fall of Mari. Regarding the last chapter of Mari, we merely have the evidence of the name of Hammu-Rabi’s 33d year, the tablet tags of the boxes that housed the correspondence of Zimri-Lim that were dated to the 7th month of the 32d year, the name of Hammu-Rabi’s 35th year, and the archaeological evidence of two burned palaces. The name of Hammu-Rabi’s 33d year states that “he felled the troops of Malgium and Mari in battle and, as their friend, took Mari and [ ] and the cities of Subartum, one by one, under his command.” 251 After this event, in the 7th month, agents of Hammu-Rabi went through the royal correspondence in the palace in Mari, and two years later “he destroyed the wall of Mari and the wall of Malgium,” on which occasion the palace may have been burned. Hammu-Rabi’s motive, the events during the two years, and the strangely parallel fate of Mari and Malgium, cities far removed from each other, remain mysteries. 249. G. Ozan mentions that the receipt of gifts from Esnuna announced by Manatan in his letter, FM 3 142, is part of the same gift exchange that saw a gift for Esnuna registered in 25 19. Note that Charpin’s reference to “A.3947” in “Chronologie,” 56, probably means the same text. 25 19 = A.3493. A.3947, as quoted by Durand in comment l to LAPO 17 545, appears to be a letter. 250. Edited by him in “Espionage,” FM 1 (1992), 51–52, and reedited by Charpin in “Sapiratum,” 359. 251. Stol, History, 38, translates “Mari and its villages and the various cities of Subartum submitted peacefully to his rule.” Sasson, “King,” 461, understands the formulation as an indication of a “peaceful transfer of power.” The formulation “as their friend,” Stol’s “peacefully,” is of course a relative term in a propagandistic formulation. It may not mean much more than a lessrigorous treatment of, for example, the fate of Kasalluk (see §11).


Reconstruction of Events during Years 9u to 11u of Zimri-Lim’s Reign

Chapter 3

Introduction to Translations

Creating a Mess Propelled by the revelation of 26 404 as described in the foreword, and wanting to have at my disposal an English translation of this letter, I began translating. Soon I wanted to use other major letters of the volume, and eventually all the letters of this volume as well as those of volumes 26/1 and 27 and indeed all published Mari letters in order to give the students of my history class something to read and study. I found that only a very few of the letters were translated into English. My last serious encounter with Old Babylonian letters had been almost 30 years back, when Adam Falkenstein read the letters from Tell Harmal and those published in TCL 17 in Intermediate Akkadian. By the time I started translating Mari letters, my knowledge had gained somewhat in an unsystematic way, but it had also rusted, so that I had much to learn. My teachers this time were the editors of the letters: Birot, Charpin, Durand, Joannès, Lackenbacher, and Lafont. In the crunch of preparing materials for an ongoing course, I did not linger over words but made quick decisions. Continued reading soon revealed initial misunderstandings and mistakes, and suggested better choices of words, phrases, forms, and sentence structures. I changed my translations frequently. For example, ahka la tanaddi went from literal “do not drop your arm” to idiomatic “do not fold your arms,” to “don’t be lazy,” and finally to the standard translation “do not be negligent.” When I changed from “dropping” to “folding” arms, I did not bother to update all previously translated references, because I was not completely content with the folded arms and had in mind returning to the dropped ones. But then I started experimenting with “being lazy,” until I was overcome with an anti-iconoclastic impulse and reverted to the standard translation “to be negligent.” This process repeated itself with numerous other words. Especially bothersome was a group of verbs including amarum, kasadum, and pa†arum, and the noun †emum, whose presumed basic meanings, “see, reach, obstruct,” and “report,” often did not fit the context. In fact, each new context seemed to call for another translation so that the inventory of English translations became rather 167


Introduction to Translations

large. The proliferation of translations soon created overlaps. For example, contexts for amarum suggested a meaning “to understand,” a translation which I had used already for ahazum. ˇemum is sometimes used where a translation “issue” suggested itself, but I had used this translation already for some instances of awatum. In the end, I had made so many changes, and there were so many overlaps, that I had to acknowledge that I had created a mess and that I needed some method, some kind of pilot, to steer me in the right direction.

Searching for Help I turned to what other translators had said in the introductions to their translations. Oppenheim’s essay “Can These Bones Live?” in Letters from Mesopotamia, 1 warned me not to use “the less-than-adequate translation methods traditionally applied in Assyriology.” I was to understand the cultural background of the letters, understand their message, and translate them “in a way that makes the new wording a meaningful carrier of the original message,” but not by clinging to a literal translation or being afraid to jump “the gap” between Mariote and my culture. My problem was that I saw no way to understand the message of the letters without anchoring myself to a literal translation and looking out from that terrain in search of the meaning that context, common sense, and my personal knowledge and experience suggested. In addition, I did not agree with many of the translations in the Mari letters that Oppenheim had made. Take, for example, 26 234. Oppenheim translates the affirmation of well-being in the introductory formula as “the gods Dagan and Ikrub-El are fine.” “Gods” is not in the text. They are presumably Oppenheim’s explanation to the reader who might not know that Dagan and Ikrub-El were gods. “Fine” is functionally correct, but stylistically, for my taste, just a little too distant and refined. In the central part of the letter he translates, “on the day after he had this dream . . . ,” but “after” is not found in the text. It may have been an oversight by Oppenheim or an example of gap-jumping. The night in Mari was the first part of a 24-hour day and came before the daylight part of the day. We perceive the daylight part as being “after” the night. Oppenheim’s translation is either incorrect or it glosses over a peculiarity of Mesopotamian culture. His translation “had a dream” instead of more literal “saw a dream” is good in the given context but creates difficulties in others as explained in the next section. All in all, I found Oppenheim’s essay too negative for practical help and his translations a mixed bag. I found some solace in what W. G. Lambert and A. R. Millard say in the introduction to their translation of the story of Atra-Hasis: “A modern reader must not expect to find our translation immediately appealing and fully intelligible. Literary taste has changed over the past 3,000 years, and, if one may use a musical analogy, to turn from the 1. Oppenheim, “Can These Bones Live?” Letters from Mesopotamia (Chicago, 1967), 54–67.

Creating Order


English classics to Atra-Hasis will be like turning from Wagner and Chopin to plainsong.” 2 These authors did not engage in gap-jumping but relied on the intelligence and patience of the reader to acclimatize to the different tone and environment of Akkadian literature that was preserved in their translation. I also found the words of B. Foster reassuring: “My translations tend to be literal at the expense of English style because I am not confident that, at the present state of knowledge, one can write English and translate from Akkadian at the same time.” 3 Most important in my struggle to find criteria to clean up the mess I had created was the introduction by M. T. Roth to her translations of laws written in cuneiform script: “Wherever possible, I use the simplest, most neutral English word, in order to avoid imposing my interpretations on the texts. . . . The translations remain faithful to the moods and tenses of the original languages. . . . In the apodosis (of formulations of laws), the third person imperfect-future tense usually is translated here with the auxiliary ‘shall.’ . . . Injunctions expressed with Akkadian la are translated ‘he shall not. . . .’ ” One page crammed with concrete rules and conventions of translations follows. 4 Here was a description of method. I agree heartily with the two basic maxims: the ideal not to coat the original text with one’s interpretation and the articulation of rules that render the translation accountable.

Creating Order The overlaps bothered me the most. Without transliterations at hand, I could not be sure whether translated “understand” was equivalent to amarum or ahazum; “here” to annanum, annis, or annikiam; “before” to ina panitim, pananum, or the bewildering variety of compound expressions with the element panum, etc., etc. This state of affairs negated the usefulness of the search command on the word processor for my file of translations. I wanted to search “understand,” being sure that it always represented the same Akkadian word. There were two ways to accomplish my wish. I could choose a synonym of “understand” for the translation for amarum and limit the translation “understand” to ahazum, or I could choose a synonym for ahazum and translate only amarum with “understand.” The consideration of the second way led me to an inspiration: ahazum is really best translated “grasp.” Checking the translations of the verb in CAD, I found “to seize, to hold a person, to take a wife, to hold, to possess, to take over, to learn, to understand, to mount (an object in precious metal).” The verb “to grasp” is the common denominator of all these meanings, leading them back to one and the same semantic field—herding them into one 2. Lambert and Millard, Atra-Hasis: The Babylonian Story of the Flood (Oxford, 1969; repr. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1999), 6. 3. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (Bethesda, 1993), 1.xxvii. 4. Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor (Writings from the Ancient World; Society of Biblical Literature 6; Atlanta, 1995), 7–9.


Introduction to Translations

corral, so to speak. 5 And more: not only did “grasp” allow me to remove the overlap in the translations of ahazum and amarum, the constraint that I had imposed on myself proved to be of heuristical value. Returning to amarum, the question arose of how to separate the more central meaning of the semantic field, which identifies various ways to use one’s eyes, from the meanings of naplusum and na†alum, which do the same. The process led to another bout of changes. Here is the result: amarum

see, regard, have a vision, watch, view


observe, behold


have before the eyes, look, perceive

In this way I reorganized my translations. Roget’s International Thesaurus was my constant companion, and I realized with satisfaction that the creek of Akkadian vocabulary is easily absorbed into the river of English. But I will admit that some measure of stiffness and artificiality goes with the method. For example, the verb na†alum is used for the perception of dreams. I would have liked to use Oppenheim’s “have a dream,” which agrees with Roth’s “simplest, most neutral English.” But this translation creates difficulties in other contexts. When “dream” is predicated by the stative of na†alum, the resulting translation becomes a somewhat odd “his dream was had” (29 82), and where the dream is not the grammatical object but in the locative dimension of na†alum (26 229), it is outright impossible, unless the difference of construction is leveled. The most natural solution would be to translate na†alum with dreams as “see.” I kept to my program and translated “to have before the eyes.” I found it especially hard to separate the verbs qabûm and dababum. After many attempts to juggle the hundreds of references, I decided to translate the former with “say, speak, mention” and the latter with “talk, tell, proclaim.” In 29 4, the distribution leads to the following translation: “Where he talked, he told many things,” but I have the feeling that the scribe meant to say, “where he spoke, he said many things.” I have the impression that the choice of one or the other verb by the authors of the letters was not so much a matter of semantics as one of style and personal predilection, perhaps also of dialect. Accordingly, my semantic separation would be beside the point. There are verbs in all languages that are used often and with many meanings. If such verbs are Akkadian, a large number of English translations are necessary; if they are English, they cannot be limited too strictly to one Akkadian word. For example “take” is my translation for leqûm, but the many uses of “take” in set phrases and idioms must be freed for translation of other Akkadian words. Here are my translations: “take a bite out of ” is akalum, “take long” is urrukum, “take the initiative” is bâªum, “take a short cut” is bazarum, “take advantage of ” is dubbubum, “take 5. Including the taking of a wife, which in Akkadian conception is a grasping by the husband, which presumably harks back to a time when this was literally done; and including the mounting of an object, where the metal does the grasping.

Creating Order


away” is ekemum, “take shelter” is emedum ana, “take complete possession of ” is gummurum, and so on. I also translate both subulum and saparum as “send.” But they remain separate because saparum in this meaning takes only humans as object, and subulum takes only nonhumans. The method can be applied to nouns, verbs, adjectives, and—with difficulty— adverbs. Particles mostly fell through any net I could knot. Occasionally, I devised a way to make differences in Akkadian transparent in the translation. For example, Akkadian uses two conjunctions that are translated “and,” namely, u and enclitic ma. The conjunction u connects nouns and clauses; ma, only clauses. When ma appears, I run the sentence on; I start a new sentence when u appears. “He gave him instructions and dispatched him” is connected by ma. “He gave him instructions. And he dispatched him” is connected by u. The Akkadian of the letters quite frequently connects clauses with both conjunctions. I translate them “and then, and now, and also, and so, and still.” But there remain cases in which any modification of the connection appears artificial, and so I simply use “and.” Another example: Akkadian uses the preposition ana “to, for” without any semantic restriction on the following noun, but ana ßer “to, for” is restricted to nouns describing or identifying persons. In the latter case, the general ana or the specific ana ßer is used. I distinguish between the two by using the accusative for ana and “to” for ana ßer. “Zimri-Lim wrote Hammu-Rabi” translates Zimri-Lim ana Hammu-Rabi ispur; “Zimri-Lim wrote to Hammu-Rabi” translates Zimri-Lim ana ßer Hammu-Rabi ispur. In the area of verbal “tenses” I started rigidly by translating the preterit (iprus) with the simple past, the present-future (iparras) with the present or future, and the perfect (iptaras) with the perfect. It did not work. A friend who looked at samples of my translations according to this “method” dryly remarked that there was a point at which I needed to translate. Present-future forms often express the circumstance in which an event occurred in the past. I did not want to go quite as far as Streck, who translates the Akkadian finite present-future form with a participle, as in “weinend setzte er sich”; 6 I translate them with the verb “to be” plus the participle: “he sat down, (and) he was crying.” The function of the Akkadian perfect is a mystery to me. 7 The alleged function of Nachzeitigkeit, that is the designation of a past action as having taken place later than another past action, a feature described as consecutio temporum, quickly loses its credibility, because the reader of Mari letters encounters myriad examples of sequences of preterit forms describing chronological series of events. I translate perfect forms with the perfect whenever it makes sense, still cherishing a sense of satisfaction that it works sometimes, but I have no qualms about translating with the past tense if that is more appropriate. Conversely, I translate past tense forms with the perfect when the context demands it—as, for example, after inanna “now” and adini “until now.” 6. Streck, Orientalia 64 (1995), 33–91. 7. G. Buccellati denies its existence in A Structural Grammar of Babylonian (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1996), 108–12.


Introduction to Translations

I translate the modes rigidly: the cohortative with “shall”; the precative with “must”; “let” (“let him come”); “may” before the subject and with an exclamation mark at the end of the clause (“may he come!”); and “may” in the rare case of permissive function (see the last sentence of 26 103). In syntax, I leave the paratactic sequencing of the Akkadian by and large untouched. I make an exception in the case of the paratactic figure “finite verbal form in present tense + ma followed by another finite verbal form in present tense,” where I make the first member a dependent clause introduced by “once.” Ana ßer beliya akassadam-ma †emam gamram mahar beliya asakkan = “Once I arrive before my lord, I will place a full report before my lord.” In working on the translations, it occasionally crossed my mind that I was adhering to something that Oppenheim characterized as “the age-old type of translation in which every word of the foreign language is considered to be in one-to-one correspondence with a word of the translator’s tongue; the translator replaces unit by unit and sees in the quaintness of the text produced an adequate rendering of the otherness of the original.” But then, a little quaintness can preserve a measure of the otherness of the world that produced the translated letters, and this is a good thing. Besides, my translations are not based on one-to-one but one-to-several correspondences, as far as choice of words is concerned. In the end, I found it much more important to provide a measure of accountability in translating and to prevent my subjective style from coloring the translations.

Chapter 4

Translation of Texts from ARM 26/1

The common theme of many of letters 26 1–190 is extispicy—that is, divination by means of inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals. It was the most widely practiced method of divination in ancient Mesopotamia. The Akkadian word translated “extispicy” is tertum, which means more literally “directive.” It was believed that the configuration of entrails contained divine “directives” about future events. A particular configuration corresponded to a particular event and, since the number of configurations is practically limitless, extispicy represented a wide field of knowledge and was practiced by professional diviners. The diviners were always male and learned the craft from their father (26 109). They also used texts that listed configurations and their meanings for the future (26 2 and 3). The diviners of the Mari texts were royal appointees. They served the king personally or were stationed in the provinces or accompanied troops on campaign, often working in teams of two. They inspected the entrails of male lambs and occasionally also adult rams (26 92), or, if sheep were not available, they used pigeons (26 145). Before looking at the entrails, the diviner asked the divinity about the safety of places or areas during a defined period of time, or he asked about the outcome of specific events. Inspection of the entrails normally yielded a positive or negative answer to the question, and specific aspects of the configuration of the entrails (such as marks on the liver or unusual coloration of the stomach) revealed indications concerning aspects of the future that were not part of the question. An extispicy was usually verified by an additional extispicy. If a clear answer did not emerge, another round of extispicies was made. In one case, the answer to one and the same question was sought in no less than five rounds (26 152). If a diviner wanted an oracle about an absent person or another city, he needed a physical part, hair, and hem of the person (for example 26 182 and 198) or a clod of earth from the city (for example 26 184) in order to identify the person or city for the divinity. Often entrails and their description were sent by provincial diviners to the king so that he and his diviners could check them (for example 26 109 and 123). They were always or occasionally “baked” for this purpose (see 26 98 and 169). Oppenheim thought that the diviners modeled the entrails in clay, baked them, and sent them in this form (“The 173



Text 26 1

Archives of the Palace of Mari,” JNES 13 [1954], 143–44). Clay models of livers actually have been found in Mari. 1 The most variable organ of the entrails, the liver, yielded most of the clues sought by the diviner and consequently inspection of the liver, or hepatoscopy, was highly developed. The diviner scanned the backside of the liver (facies visceralis), moving counterclockwise through twelve significant areas, including the gall bladder. These areas were given specific names. The gall bladder, for example, was called “shepherd,” the processus caudatus “finger,” and so on. The divine being that answered the question of a diviner was the sun-god Samas. He was actively involved in the formation of a liver (see the second sentence in 26 3), which is expressed elsewhere as his “writing omens within the ram.” 2 The topic of diviners and extispicy is treated in detail in Durand’s introduction to 26/1. A particularly instructive text from Babylonia was published by Starr. Leiderer is indispensable for understanding the technique of hepatoscopy. The names of the ominous parts of the liver are listed in appendix 8. See also the entry “diviners” in the index of group designations.

1–3: Texts

26 1 Oath of office for diviners. For the text group and this text, see Durand, “Protocoles,” 13–71, which includes a photograph of the tablet on p. 15.

[2 lines] [ that] occurs [in extispicies of ] ªa commonerº, and (that) I see, [a bad omen or] ªa good oneº, whatever I see, I will indeed mention (it) [to my lord Zimri-Lim]. (I swear that) 3 I will not hide (it). (I swear that) I will not mention to a human being, whatever his name, a ªbad omenº [or a good one] that occurs in extispicies of [my lord] ªZimri-Lim, inº an abnormal birth, or in . . . , 4 and (which) I see. And a ªconfidentialº word that my lord Zimri-Lim mentions to me for making extispicies, or (that he) mentions to my fellow diviner, and I hear of, or else see, that omen1 during the execution of extispicies in the hand of my ªfellow divinerº, I will indeed guard that word. ªThe wordº of a human being, whatever his name, who [ ] ªa hostileº mouth, 5 [and] (who) does ªnotº let it go out but [ ] my lord [ ] for evil rebellion and [ ] of my lord Zimri-Lim [ ] (I swear that) [I will] not [ ] the human being, whatever his name.2 And the execution of ªevilº rebellion [against ] of [my] lord Zimri-Lim that he (the human being) mentions to me for making extispicies, or (that he) mentions to my fellow ªdivinerº, [and I] ªhearº of, or else see, (the resulting omen) during the extispicies [in] ªthe handº of my fellow ªdivinerº, (I swear that) [I] will [not] ªhideº it. On that day I will 1. See Durand, 26/1, 52 n. 251. 2. O. R. Gurney, The Sultantepe Tablets I (London, 1957), text 60:15. 3. In the text of an oath, positive statements are rendered, “I will indeed . . .” (lu + verb in the indicative of the present tense) and negative statements, “I will not . . .” (la + verb in subjunctive of present tense). I assume that the subjunctive is dependent on the virtual clause “I swear that. . . .” 4. uzu iZ-mi-im. The determinative indicates that iZmum is of flesh. 5. pé-em na-ak-[ra-am]. Durand restores idabbubu as a verb and translates “qui tiendrait des propos hostiles.” See also pí-ú nakrum in 26 237:17.

Text 26 2


indeed ªspeakº [to] my lord ªZimri-Limº, [ him (the human being).3


], (I swear that) I will not hide it, not plead for

(The remaining 7 + n lines are not well preserved and do not yield a comprehensible text. The last sentence is:) “[ ] I will indeed do as long as I live.” 1. 2.


There is no omen mentioned to which “that omen” could refer. I assume that the confidential word that was submitted to divination by extispicy is here somewhat loosely called “omen.” Durand restores this passage as follows: “L’affair (par contre) d’un quidam, quel qu’il soit, qui tiendrait des propos hostiles, en voulant que cela ne soit pas connu, voudrait attaquer mon Seigneur et ferait faire des présages en vue d’une mauvaise rebellion ou de l’assassinat de Zimri-Lim, mon Seigneur, je ne prendrai en rien les oracles pour ce quidam, quel qu’il soit.” I have the impression that the difficulties in understanding this text do not stem exclusively from the many breaks but also from the phrasing of the author who, wanting to be very exact, failed to be very clear. I summarize the contents as I understand them. The diviner swears: to reveal information to the king from extispicies done for commoners, to keep confidential information from extispicies done for the king (paragraph 1); to keep confidential matters that the king ordered to submit to extispicies, whether the diviner or a colleague was charged with it (paragraph 2); to refuse service to someone plotting rebellion against Zimri-Lim (so Durand’s interpretation of the first sentence of paragraph 3); to reveal solicitation of his or a colleague’s service by such a person.

26 2 and 3 are collections of liver omens.

26 2 The day (when during extispicy) a fiber1 from the head of a finger of the middle back2 is attached to the middle of the shepherd: decrease; something of a dead being is seized by a living being.3 The day a fiber on the right (side) of ªthe fingerº is attached to the place of the strike of the face [of the enemy] and the finger lies on (its) right, the king’s hand will ªcatchº territory that is not ªhisº. And for ªthe commonerº: catch of the hand. 6 1. 2.


According to Leiderer, 149, a “fiber” designates a parasite-induced alteration of connective liver tissue. The diviner differentiated various “backs,” or surfaces, of the finger. In addition, he distinguished head, center, and base of a surface. Accordingly, I expect “the head of the middle back of the finger” to be parallel to “on the head of the back of the right of the finger” (Leiderer 538). The reference is probably to valuables that were stored or displayed in the accessible part of a tomb. Durand quotes as illustration the treasures of the tomb of Yahdun-Lim, which were inventoried when Yasmah-Addu took power in Mari.

26 3 If the path is in place: ªhisº god is ªpresent atº the man’s offering. If he1 caused the path to descend toward the right: the man will escape from adversity.

If he caused the path to descend toward the right and toward the left: major dispossession; the enemy will attack and carry off livestock. If it floods: it will take the harvest of the ªlandº. And if (it is done) for a sick man: he will die. 6. kisid qatim. The phrase designates spoils, including prisoners of war.



Text 26 4

ªIfº he caused ªthe pathº to descend toward the right and (then) caused it to ascend: the man will escape from ªtroubleº. And ªifº (it is done) for a ªsickº man: he will live. And if it is ªa lost itemº of his: after many days he will find it. (Blank line) If in the fold of [ ]: (clash of) ªweaponº follows upon (clash of) ªweaponº. If it is found in execution (of an extispicy) of the king: [ ]. And if for a commoner: [ ]. If a weapon2 crossed the shepherd from the left to the right: [ ]. And if it was for a commoner: Whatever the man ªwishesº, [ ]. If a weapon ªlooksº to the narrow part of the duct of the shepherd: [ ] and Nergal will ªcomeº to my (the diviner’s) own side, [and ] and the unit of troops of the left [ ] weapons. (Blank line) If the cleft 7 is continuous: his god is ªpresent atº the man’s offering. If there are two clefts: well-being and [ ]. If there are three clefts: the god will not [ ] with the man. If the cleft is like a dadum (fish): well-being of ªthe enemyº. If the cleft [ ] from the duct of the shepherd and below [ ]: it will rain. If he made it descend toward the palace gate: the rains [ ]. If the cleft is like a ªcrescentº: stand of [ ]. If the cleft assembled 8 toward weapons, and its face is (turned) toward the palace gate: the king takes over the households of his servants. 1. 2.

“He” is probably the sun-god Samas. See Durand’s comment b and the statement in the description of the extispicy “he broke the finger” in 26 96. Leiderer, 36: “ein Teilchen aus Lebergewebe, das an seinem keulenförmigen freien Ende einen eigenen Serosaüberzug besitzt.”

26 4–88 are letters by, to, and concerning Asqudum, a diviner by profession, who already in the time of Yasmah-Addu belonged to the upper circle of power (see 26 4) and later became perhaps Zimri-Lim’s most influential aide. Durand included letters to other persons by this name in his collection (26 8 and 26 34).

26 4

to the D

To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Laªum (says), “The diviner Asqudum came from before the king (Samsi-Adad). Where he talked, he told many things. [So] 9 they said to me. He denounced ªmeº, Sin-Iddinam [and] ªSamas-Tillassu beforeº the king. 7. sulmum designates the groove on the lobus quadratus of the liver. The lobus quadratus itself was called erßet sulmim “locality of the s.” A. Goetze suggested that the word is not identical to sulmum “well-being” but derives from the root tlm that includes the Arabic word tulmatun “notch.” See the discussion in Leiderer, 82–83. I agree with Goetze because the word is descriptive of a feature of the throat (Starr, 31:24 with comment) and the liver part “outgrowth” (26 100-bis:27). The use of the logogram silim(-ma) and the link with “well-being” (sulmum) in many predictions is wordplay. 8. iphur. It is unclear what is meant. 9. [ke-em]. Durand restores [a-na].

Text 26 5



ªNobodyº is safe in his hands. Once I arrive before my lord, I will place a full report before my lord.”

26 5–7 are letters by Bannum. He was Zimri-Lim’s first pasture-chief and served, according to 5 and 6, as caretaker in Mari during the king’s absence. He died before 25 IX 2 (see Durand, 26/1, 74 n. 27; and Villard, “Nomination,” 293 n. 1), so his letters come from the beginning of Zimri-Lim’s reign. The contents of 5 and 6 indicate that these letters were written at the very beginning of the reign.

26 5 Zimri-Lim informed Asqudum in 26 61 that Bannum had arrived in Mari to take his (Zimri-Lim’s) place and that he would leave for Terqa in order to make an offering to the gods before starting on his campaign. The present letter was written after the king had completed his offerings in Terqa, proceeded to Saggaratum, where he met with Bannum, and left for the campaign.

To my lord speak! Your servant Bannum (says), “Are these things nice 10 that Asqudum keeps forcing upon you ªuntoward thingsº, and (that) you keep listening to his words? When you set your sight on the expedition and stayed the 7 days of circles1 in the house of Dagan, you left me behind in Mari and instructed me as follows: You (said), ‘the day I ªget upº from the circles, join me in Terqa!’ This you said to me, but I was held back in Mari, and Asqudum told you untoward words, and you ªinstalledº him in the office of mayor of Hisamta. He deceived you with words a second time, and you installed Enlil-Ipus in the office of majordomo of Hisamta. I came to Saggaratum, and I was hearing all those matters and called out, ‘I am robbed!’ And I had a word with you as follows: I (said), ‘How can you install a citizen of Ekallatum in the office of mayor of Hisamta? And you installed Enlil-Ipus in the office of majordomo!’ This I said to you and fired that man, ªandº your servant Belsunu, who is getting fat like a pig, and whom you could slaughter, [for whom] nobody will seize your hand, 11 I gave instructions for (serving as) majordomo.2 “Asqudum, a catch of my hands, decided on untoward things in his heart, and you should ªinstallº servants in executive positions of whom the person of my lord and the sons of Simªal will not be sorry. I saw 12 that that man’s ear is set on evil, and (that) he talks with my lord about untoward things with evil intentions and has ªinstalledº former servants of Isme-Dagan in executive positions. Isme-Dagan ªwill hearº this news ªandº be very glad. ªHeº (will say), ‘my former servants [exercise] executive positions [and] ªwill actº to turn this land away (from Zimri-Lim), [and] it does not cost [me] one bread.’ My lord [ ] not ª º the words of that man. As that man will not ª º to erect obstacles for the palace, my lord must not depend on that man. That man is. . . . 13 Reliable diviners attend to my lord. Those men are sons of Simªal. They are devoted to the person of my lord. My lord must have that man conducted to me. Otherwise I will bring his household and the household of Hali-Hadun into the palace.3 That man must get here quickly.

10. 11. 12. 13.

annêtan damqa. See my note, NABU 1996 62. In the context of 26 39:43, the idiom “seizing one’s hand” denotes asking for a favor. amur kima. If amur is infinitive, the translation should be “Understand that . . .” (Sasson). suhhu. Durand, “fondamentalment hostile.”



Text 26 6

“Moreover, when my lord went out from Saggaratum, he told you the following: He (said), ‘I am ill.’ The baggage of my lord has been left behind in Saggaratum without a responsible person. What baggage that was left behind on that day because of the lack of porters?4 “Further: Is it nice of Sumu-Hadum, ªwhoº wrote to my lord, ‘I seized the ªtabletsº of Samsi-Addu?’ Who is this ªboyº of his who seized ªthose tabletsº, and (who) took them along ªto meº, and I did not give him [a gift]? The boys of ªSumu-Hadumº [did not] ªobtainº those ªtabletsº, and [I did not give] gifts ªto themº. If a defeat [ ]. If they do not [ ] with yes, [ ]. I saw that 14 that man [ ] ªevilº [and] untoward [words] to my lord. My lord must [know] this! “Further: 2 hundred sheep of Zu-Hadnim that [ ] ªtake alongº to you at bedtime, they indeed concealed them! I seized those sheep. I will guard them until your coming ªhereº. Once you come, you will ªhearº the report on those sheep.” 1.

2. 3.


Durand provides references from unpublished texts for the “7 days of circles.” This phrase may designate a purification rite similar to the Babylonian rite Bit Rimki, according to which the king went through a succession of 7 “huts,” washing off any evil that might have attached itself to him. Another 7-day rite of ablutions for the king is mentioned in 26 216. It is not clear why Belsunu’s corpulence would recommend him for the position of majordomo. When royal officials died or were fired from their position, their belongings were inventoried and divided between the household of the official and the palace. In this way, private and institutional property was separated. The removal of the entire household of an official to the palace could be punitive, which is what Bannum intends. For more detail, see my article “Disposition of Households of Officials in Ur III and Mari,” ASJ 19 (1997), 68; and van Koppen, “Seized.” Bannum may refer to an excuse of Asqudum that there were no porters available.

26 6 [To] ªmyº lord speak! Your servant Bannum (says), “Are these things ªniceº that [my lord] ªwroteº me painfully about the majordomo of Íuprum ‘the former majordomo of Íuprum was installed 5 months ªago. Whichº are his accounts that were done, and which are the deficits that he incurred, that you remove him from his executive office and install Maprakum? What are these things that you lift your eyes to one shekel of silver and remove an executive and install another in his executive position? You scold me as follows: “Do not go by the opinion of a denunciator! And do not listen to denunciations!” A bitch is scolding her children, (saying), “Do not lay your hands on anything!” And she got there first, raised the skin of the flews and proceeded to eat.1 Now you keep acting just like it. Already, I installed Enlil-Ipus as majordomo of Hisamta, and then you removed him and installed Belsunu in his stead. Now, until I return, do not remove and install any executive. I myself will call an executive to account for his wrongs.’ This my lord painfully ªwroteº me. Now, why did my lord write me ª. . . 15º that an ªincompetentº and inefficient man . . . 16 removes an executive from 14. See n. 12 above. 15. Durand restores s[a a-ia-si-i]m and translates “ce que m’a. . . .” 16. Durand restores ªiº-[na é-kál-l]im ù da-tim i-ir-ba i-na m[a-ti-ma-a i]-na la i-di-im . . . and translates “(que c’est un incapable . . .) qui est entré au palais et à la douane? Est-ce que jamais . . . ,” announcing a study on “dâtum = douane.” I believe †atum “bribe” fits the context better, but I do not understand the structure of the sentence.

Text 26 7



his executive position ªwithº no reason. [And] from whom did I receive silver, ªandº which executive did I remove [with no] reason, and (which) ªotherº did I install 17? And these untoward things you wrote me. Sir Maprakum, 18 whom I sent you, held that executive position for a long time. That man is competent and able to manage the palace. Now then, ªaskº that man, ªandº let him speak to you about the silver that I received from him! “This ªletterº that you wrote me is ªnotº yours. The one who keeps forcing upon you untoward matters, I know him. And I will guard the tablet of this letter until the return of my lord. “Now Enlil-Ipus, whom you said to install in the office of majordomo in Dur-YahdunLim, I will certainly not install until your return. The former majordomo remains. And Belsunu, whom I installed as majordomo in Hisamta, I will fire ªhim, andº Yaqqim-Addu will return to his executive position. Some time ago, I was away from you for a whole day, and you undertook to install Asqudum in the office of mayor of Hisamta, and now you did not yet reach Qa††unan and write me untoward things! ªSinceº he keeps forcing upon you untoward things, and you keep listening to them, [and] I am lifting my ªeyesº at one shekel of silver, [in accordance with] your pronouncement, [from] ªnow onº I will not approach the responsibilities of ªthe palaceº. [5 lines]. “ªFurtherº: the Esnunakean Íilli-Istaran [and] the Numhaite ªYanßib-Adduº will transport ª. . . 19º of Yanßib-Addu to Esnuna. ª11 lines. The city of º Mari, the palace, and the bank of the Euphrates are well. [ . My lord] must guard [his person].” 1.

For the various attempts to understand this simile, see B. Groneberg, NABU 1993 44; my note, NABU 1996 45; and J.-A. Scurlock, NABU 1997 91.

26 7 To Asqudum speak! Bannum (says), “I listened to your tablets that you sent ªmeº. You wrote me as follows: You (said), ‘I made extispicies for the well-being of ªthe districtº, and [my] ªextispiciesº [were bad]. The footprint of an enemy [was placed (on the liver)]. 20 And have extispicies done for ªTerqaº, Saggaratum and ªDur-Yahdun-Limº for the days of a year or else for [6] ªmonthsº!’ 21 According to your letter I had extispicies done. The lambs concerning which you wrote me ªwill reach youº three days after this tablet of mine. 17. as-ku-nu. The subjunctive may be an error. Durand restores the subjunctive particle [sa] in the beginning of line 34. However, this subjunctive would follow -ma “and” on the previous line, which can hardly be expected. 18. lú Maprakum. For examples of lú PN and their interpretation, see Durand, NABU 1987 12b. He translates here “le sieur Maprakum.” lú writes awilum, as shown by the spelling lú-lum in 28 60:5. The word is often, but not always, used ironically. 19. [x s]a-aB-la-at. Durand reads saplat “la vaiselle.” 20. Durand reads igi {na} lú na-ak-ri-im si[la4-há i-qí] “sacrifie des agneaux devant l’ennemi.” I read gìr instead of igi {na} lú, even if it is not a clear gìr-sign. The scribe was apparently not quite sure what to write or how to write it. Note that he wrote te-er-tim instead of te-re-tim in line 7. gìr = sepum designates a mark on the liver. Compare 26 169:13 sep saddim ittaskan. The sign transliterated si[la4 by Durand could be s[a or i[t according to the photo. 21. u4-mu-kam ú-lu it[i-6-ka]m. Durand restores it[i u4-30-ka]m and translates, “soit par jour soit pour un mois complet” without comment. “Par jour” would probably be written u4-1-kam. But



Text 26 8

“Further: About your house concerning which you wrote me—some time ago, you spoke to me as follows: You (said), ‘I seized 2 houses. I will seize1 the one good house; one house I will release.’ This you said to me. Now, you can stay in the house you like. Nobody will approach your house.” 1.

The scribe means “retain.”

26 8 To my lord speak! Your servant Kalalum (says), “Milki-Addu, the majordomo of the ªstewardº Asqudum,1 and [his] brothers [and] their [children], his family, they conducted ªtoº [me], and [they ] the 15th day, at ªnightº. When they informed ªme of thisº, I ªwroteº his district [and] gave strict orders. I dispatched a rescue detachment. And I wrote to Buqaqum.” 1.

It seems very unlikely that the Asqudum of this letter is the diviner, as Durand argues. A man named Kalalum was involved with the joint attempt of Babylon and Mari to secure lower Suhum in early ZL 10u (26 468 and 470). The Kalalum of the present letter is probably identical with him because the appearance of Buqaqum points to Suhum. I believe that the steward Asqudum is identical with the “boy of Meptum” in A.4535-bis (MARI 8, 389–91).

In 26 9–13, Asqudum and Risiya report about two journeys to Halab. Text 26 9 is the only letter from the first journey. During their stay in Halab at the time of their second journey, Sumu-Na-Abi, the mother of Yarim-Lim, king of Halab, died. They returned with Siptu, Yarim-Lim’s daughter and Zimri-Lim’s bride. The chronology of the letters is worked out in detail by Villard in “Kahat,” 325–26. Accordingly, 26 9 was written before the 5th month of ZL 2, and 26 10–11 during the 4th or 5th month of ZL 1u.

26 9 To my lord speak! Your servant Risiya (says), “I am well. 22 We brought to a close a safe voyage for my lord, and the king (Yarim-Lim) is very happy. We placed the instructions with which my lord instructed Asqudum and me before Simru, and Simru was very happy about the instructions of our lord. And Simru has adopted our interests 23 with respect to King Yarim-Lim. Simru will keep placing before the King what is necessary to implement the instructions of our lord and to answer us forthrightly. “Further: Simru spoke as follows: He (said), ‘What about the singer concerning whom I wrote my lord (Zimri-Lim) repeatedly, and (whom) he did not send?’ Now, the day my lord hears this tablet, he must let the singer Karanatum ride the lagu1 of Yasim-Dagan or else of another, and she must leave the day after (the arrival of) this tablet of mine. She must get here quickly. My lord must ªdoº what is necessary for that singer to get here quickly so that Simru can wrap up before the king the matters with which we are charged.” 1.

An equid and/or conveyance pulled by that equid.

the scribe cannot be trusted (see the previous note). A period of validity of one year or one day would be unique; 6 months is attested also in 26 88. 22. The photo shows sa-al-ma-ku at the end of line 3. 23. abbut awatini ßabit. Literally, “seized the fathership of our matters.”

Text 26 10



26 10 [To our lord speak! Your] ªservantsº [Asqudum and] ªRisiya (say), “Yarim-Lim addressed usº as follows: ‘[Bring] ªthe presentº!1 And my mother [is ill]. And I am afraid ªsomethingº [bad] ªwill happenº in my palace. And your days (of departure) are ªnearº.’ So we hurried [and] brought in the present that my lord ªsentº with us. And we dropped veils on the daughter.2 On the third day after we brought in the present, Sumu-Na-Abi went to her fate. King ªYarim-Limº sent ªˇab-Bala†iº to us (to speak) as follows: ‘Go, view my ªstrong citiesº and my houses!’ We consulted and wrote the king as follows: We (said), ‘Why did our lord write us this missive, (namely), “go, view my strong cities and my houses!’ ” Later we wrote as follows: We (said), ‘was ªnotº Sumu-Na-Abi our lady? If we are not staying ªwithº our lord and ªthisº matter is heard in Mari, it will certainly [ ]. And the servants of your son (Zimri-Lim) [ ].’ ª º did not ªanswerº [ . And] ªhe sent backº his servants. He (said), ‘Did you see [my land]? Go!’ I (said), [13 lines] are there. Our lord must send 20 gold goblets, and they must be placed in a rack 24 of our lord.” 1.


The nature of the “present” (biblum) has been discussed a great deal. R. Westbrook defines it as a “gift of various items other than money made on the occasion of marriage celebrations by members of the groom’s family to members of the bride’s family” (Old Babylonian Marriage Law [Archiv für Orientforschung, Beiheft 23; Horn, Austria, 1988], 101). See also Villard, “Kahat,” 326 n. 84. C. Michel, NABU 1997 40, gives examples for veiling of a bride.

26 11 To our lord speak! Your servants Asqudum and Risiya (say), “As Sumu-Na-Abi died, Yarim-Lim spoke to us as follows: ‘Until this wake is over, go, view my land!’ We toured his land 15 days and returned. After we returned, [I] ªpreparedº the sheep that some time ago, when I left (them) behind for offerings of the daughter, the remainder of sheep that I had left for my disposal,1 and [1] gold ring of 6 shekels, [1] sakkum fabric, 1 u†ublum fabric of first (quality), 5 u†ublum fabrics of second (quality), 21 regular fabrics of second (quality), 2 hundred tisanu,2 bigtail sheep and birds, for Yarim-Lim; 1 thin fabric, 2 gold clasps of 2 shekels (each), 2 gold clasps of 1 shekel (each), x + 25 20 sheep, for Gasera; 1 Maradean fabric, 4 gold clasps of 2 shekels (each) for the daughter Siptu was the later contribution. It was satisfactory like the earlier contribution.3 Yarim-Lim’s face shone brightly. ‘What shall I do regarding your earlier contribution? 26 There was nothing (comparable from) any of the kings ever, (even) now (that) the kings of the whole land are assembled.’ Therefore, Yarim-Lim was very happy. And after the ªstallion offeringº I will ªinsistº, [so we] can depart quickly. The decisions have indeed been made.”

24. ina kannim. Durand translates “dans le cellier,” which would imply that Zimri-Lim had a cellar in Halab. I believe that the request is for the (probably expensive) rack in which the goblets could be displayed. 25. Durand proposes reading ù. Perhaps it is a number. 26. surubtaka panitam minam lupus is difficult. Durand translates “ton apport précédent, comment pourrais-je le faire.” epesum is here construed with two accusatives. This is also the case in 26 212:5u–6u and A.3206:29, where it means “to do something to someone.” Perhaps Yarim-Lim wonders how he can match the presents.

182 1.

2. 3.


Text 26 12

The sentence is botched. Perhaps they are referring to the sheep that remained at the disposal of Asqudum after his expenditure of sheep for the offering of Yarim-Lim’s daughter. I do not know what the phrase “the offerings of the daughter” means. The genitive may be subjective, in which case the daughter would have offered; or objective, in which case the offerings would have been destined for the daughter. Perhaps the daughter, that is, the bride Siptu, brought offerings in connection with her status as bride, and the groom Zimri-Lim was responsible for furnishing the sacrificial animals. The tisanu is a wool-bearing animal. See B. Lion, NABU 1991 60. The transport of the animals to Yamhad is recorded in FM 3 60:46. The former contribution may have been the gift that Yarim-Lim wanted to receive before the death of his mother (26 10). The later contribution is the one detailed here.

26 12 To our lord speak! Your servants Asqudum and Risiya (say), “[About ] ªthe journeyº on which our lord [n lines] ª º they dropped ª º on 27 the kings of [Zalmaqum],1 (saying), ‘We shall go. We shall ªaskº 28 our kings or else our mayors, and then they must come to an agreement with you.’ And Yarim-Lim spoke to us as follows: ‘I have dispatched my messengers with their messengers, (saying), “As long as you (pl.) are staying, two of their kings from among them must come. And if their kings do not come, their mayors can do the conducting. 29 And if you go back on your word, I shall [ ] and whichever untoward thing it might be that I seized in his hand!’ ” 30 ªThe messengersº [of ] did not yet ªcomeº. Therefore [we did not write] our lord ªa fullº report.”2 1. 2.

Durand’s restoration is convincing. A plurality of kings in the orbit of Halab and of interest to Mari are likely the kings of Zalmaqum. They often acted together. The lack of the central part of the letter makes understanding difficult. Since kings or mayors of Zalmaqum are to conduct people or animals and since Asqudum and Risiya are vitally interested in the reply to Yarim-Lim’s message, the issue may be to conduct Zalmaqean troops to Mari.

26 13 [To my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant ªAsqudum (says), “Yarim-Lim addressedº [me] as follows: ‘I ªkeptº hearing, “The gods in the palace are strong.”1 Where will the household goods of my daughter enter?’ I (said), ‘The apartments2 of ªyourº daughter are good.’ He (said), 27. [x-x]-tim. Durand [an-né]-tim “these.” Also possible is [a-wa]-tim “words.” Perhaps the expression is related to 26 45:5–6, “to drop (the name of) PN on the mouth of persons,” which means “initiate discussion on PN.” 28. Durand reads ni-i†-r[a-ad], referring to the PN A-hu-la-ab-la-a† as justification for the occurrence of /a/ where /u/ is expected. It is difficult to think of interlocutors of Yarim-Lim who would have the authority of dispatching kings. I expect ni-is-t[a-al] “we shall ªaskº,” yet the traces of the signs according to the photo do favor Durand’s reading -it-. 29. i-ta-ru-ú. Durand translates “mènent (l’ambassade).” However, the verb tarûm seems to be used only with humans or animals as objects. 30. Durand reads i-na bi-ti-su “in his house.” See 26 347:19–20 and 28 63:8–9, which attest the idiom “to seize untoward things in one’s hand.” A spelling qá-ti-su is unusual, but so would be bi-ti-su instead of é-(ti-)-su.

Text 26 14



‘The effects of my daughter must be placed ªinº her apartments. My ªdaughterº may stay with her husband! And in 5 days, in 6 days, she may leave, and she may concern herself with her apartments!’3 Now my lord must give instructions and select the apartments. They must tidy them up for his daughter, so that his servants, who come with me, see and return word to their lord. “Herewith I have written to my lord what I heard from the mouth of Yarim-Lim. My lord must consult, and ªthey must concern themselves withº the apartments that they ªsecureº for ªthatº daughter. “Further: [9 lines] ªaboutº the litter bearers [concerning whom] I wrote him—[my lord] ªmustº have (them) conducted here, so that, as long as I am staying (here), they get those apartments ready.” 1.



The statement is mysterious. Perhaps Yarim-Lim was afraid that the belongings of his daughter would be consecrated to the gods or that there was not enough space in the palace to accommodate them. The word translated here as “apartments” also means “house” and is so translated by Durand. I find it hard to believe that Zimri-Lim’s wife, who would be queen, that is wife of first rank, would not live under the same roof as her husband, who probably lived outside the palace, or in the women’s quarters of the palace of Mari. Yarim-Lim’s otherwise enigmatic concern with the strength of the gods in the palace of Mari seems to imply that he expected his daughter to live in the palace. I also assume that the “house of Mari” and the house “of Kiru” in Ilan-Íura (see FM 4 [1999], 64) are apartments in the palace or in the king’s residence, if that was not the palace. Durand believes that Yarim-Lim’s words refer exclusively to his daughter’s future life as wife of Zimri-Lim and concludes that her father wanted her to live 5 to 6 days each month, that is during menstruation, in her house and the rest of the time with the king (26/1, 105). Sasson, “Messages,” 304 n. 14, understands Yarim-Lim’s words to mean that his daughter should live in the palace of Mari “only during the 5–6 days (presumably when menstruating); all other time she must spend in her husband’s own apartment, presumably to ensure for her a successful pregnancy.” I cannot believe that Yarim-Lim would instruct Asqudum about such a topic, and I assume that the 5 to 6 days refer to the time when his daughter would be allowed to leave Halab, go to Mari, and “concern herself with her new apartments.”

26 14–16 are concerned with the journey of Siptu and her retinue to Mari. Sammetar was governor of Terqa at the time, and Sumu-Hadu was governor of Saggaratum.

26 14 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your ªservantº Sammetar (says), “I heard about the journey on which Asqudum goes and escorts my lady (Siptu), and many women go with my lady. And the women who go are delicate. And that route is (all) desert. It is hard, not good for travel these days. These days are hard. I am afraid somebody, or else something, will suffer harm because of thirst, and afterwards my lord will be angered. Who goes that route, does not go during this month. They go that route in ªspringº or else autumn. He (Asqudum) must not ªgoº that route [in] this month. This month will be completed in 5 days. The coming month, (which is) the month of Igikur (VI), in 10 days or else 5, the days will cool, and the Euphrates will ªfillº with water.1 And for going [9 lines]. I wrote my lord a token of my servitude. My lord must consult (with his servants). He will certainly do what suits his kingship.”

184 1.


Text 26 15

Durand remarks that the water level in the Euphrates starts rising mid-November. It would follow that the calendar was almost two months behind the season. The curve of monthly maximum level from gauge readings at Ramadi from before the construction of the Tabqa Dam shows a slight rise in mid-September from the lowest level (Iraq, Geographical Handbook Series, Naval Intelligence Division, 25). Sammetar’s statement could have been more expectation than conviction, so I would not judge this passage to be sufficient evidence for a stark discrepancy between calendar and season.

26 15 To our lord speak! Your servant Asqudum and Risiya (say), “We sent this tablet of ours to our lord from Imar on the 10th. We will arrive in 3 [+ n] days in Mari. “[9 lines] so that he sees and then returns his brothers. “Further: Our lord must make an assignment for us, namely, if the daughter will go up 31 to the palaces, the palace of Dur-Yahdun-Lim, or else to Saggaratum, ªor elseº to the palace of Terqa. A light courier or else ª 32º must hurry to us so that we can make the arrangements.”

26 16 To my lord speak! Your servant Sumu-Hadu (says), “I ªsentº my lord this tablet of mine from ªDur-Yahdun-Limº. That day the lady was arriving at bedtime in -Yahdun-Lim. And Asqudum wrote me as follows: ‘Supply (pl.) dinner for the lady and the wedding delegation (for the trip) from Dur-Yahdun-Lim to Tillizibi.’ I do not agree.1 I will ªbringº the lady into ªDur-Yahdun-Limº. I ªreadiedº launches in ªGanibatumº. The valets [are] in Hurran. I became afraid of the sons of Yamina and did not dispatch (the party) to Ganibatum. They can embark in Hurran. She stays one day in Dur-Yahdun-Lim, the second day she arrives in Zibnatum, on the third day in Terqa, on the fourth ªdayº in Íuprum. In Íuprum she can spend the night and rise and ªenterº Mari before ªthe fifth dayº. At night, [up to 3 lines].” 1.

Sumu-Hadu disagrees with the route, not the dinner. Asqudum wanted him to provide provisions for a dinner that the party would take along on the leg of the journey to Tillizibi.

26 17–23 are reports by Asqudum about trips on the Upper Euphrates and to Halab.

26 17 To ªmyº lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I assembled the vanguard of ªmyº travel group in Tillazibi. And from there I will embark in small-boats.1 After I pass Lasqum, I will perform extispicies, and according to the looks of my extispicies I will ªtakeº the drum and the luggage and have (it) carried. And I will take the children in coaches and make my appearance in Imar in 3 days. I do this so that I arrrive 3 or else 4 days before Hiyar2 (in Halab). My lord [must] know. 31. Durand reads i[t-t]e-li “doit monter.” A form of elûm with double /t/ could result from a shift of the length from the first vowel to the first consonant (itelli > ittelli), which, however, is rarely expressed in writing. The travel is downstream, so the “going up” should refer to the elevated location of the palaces with respect to the surrounding settlement. 32. Durand restores [1 sa p]é-er-ri, which is otherwise not attested.

spread is 6 points long

Text 26 18



“Further: The god spreads infection in the ªupper districtº. I passed in a hurry. And my lord must give instructions, and ªinhabitantsº of any cities that are infected must not enter cities that are not infected. I am afraid they will infect ªthe landº, all of it. And ªifº there will be a ªcampaignº of my lord to the upper district, my lord must stop in Terqa. He must not move on to Saggaratum. The land is infected.” 1.


The translation “small-boat” is based on the meaning of the logogram má.tur. Small-boats are mentioned more often than any other boats. They were actually smaller than other boats (26 274) and allowed speedy travel (26 125). Individuals, including the king, and troops used them. They were occasionally used for transporting the harvest (26 58). The term was not restricted to a type of river-boat. Guichard published a text mentioning a Cretan small-boat in NABU 1993 53. Hiyar was a month and the festival of that month in the west, attested also in Imar, Alalah, and Ugarit. Durand believes that the name is a variant spelling of the word for “stallion.” Krebernik demonstrated in KTT, 158–59, that the word of the month and festival and the word for “stallion” come from different roots.

26 18 An overall interpretation of the letter is given by Durand in “Imar,” 42–43. For the route, see Joannès, “Routes,” 330.

[To] my ªlordº speak! Your servant ªAsqudumº (says), “[ ] Hammu-Samar, my companion,1 spoke to my lord ªat the time ofº carrying the drum as follows: He (said), ‘Let them get that drum to Tuttul. I will have it carried from Tuttul to Halab.’ 2 This he said in the presence of my lord. On the way, in the small-boats, the cold seized me, and the troops, all of them, were cut by the cold again and again and not able to pull the small-boats. I moved on anyway and ªleftº behind my travel provisions, all of them, in the small-boats and took travel provisions for 5 days and went the upper route. According to what was said before my lord, (namely), ‘8 men carry the drum,’ 8 men carried but were not able to move it. 12 men carried but were not able. 16 men carried it. [Among] ªthe portersº whom they provided were 5 on furlough3—men of (great) strength were they—I chose (them) 33 and laid ªthe drumº [on them]. And I assigned a relief team for them from ªthe regularsº [who] go ªwithº me and got that drum to Tuttul. ªThe remainderº of my troops ªcarriedº . . . , 34 the ‘Mouse,’ 35 (and) eagles in several reed boxes. 36 33. e-bé-er = eber (or ebêr), from bêrum. Durand interprets e-bi-ir = ebir, from eberum, “j’ai traversé.” 34. ba-zi-HI-tam. Durand proposes “le strict minimum.” 35. [bi]-ha-za -am (the restoration is from 26 20:12). Durand interprets this spelling in 26/1, 120, as [pí]-ªa4-ßa-am “mouse” on the basis of a passage from the Amarna letters that details a gift from Mitanni to Egypt called mu-me-e[r]-ri-tum sa per6(nam)-a-zi. He links it with mu-wa-arri-tim sa pi-ih-ha-zi in Mari (25 707), which is an object of cast bronze weighing 10 shekels. Noting the variant pur-ªa-s[u] from an Assur text for pi-a-zu (Materialien zum Sumerischen Lexicon 8/2; Rome, 1962, 21:184), Durand identifies per6-a-zi (Amarna) with piªaßum (Mari) and interprets the mouse as designation of a hook that was attached to a weapon and allowed its handler to tear or shred like a mouse. 36. an-zu-tam sa g i . p i s a n . d i d l i . h á . Durand points out in 26/1, 121, that anzû was a generic term for eagle in Mari and that the form anzûtam is difficult to explain. He considers “ensemble d’aigles.” Perhaps the word was (not declinable) an-zu-ud as non-Akkadianized Sumerian.



Text 26 18

“I (said to Hammu-Samar), ‘ªThe troopsº are choking (of exhaustion). [ ] let ªthemº rest (from carrying) the drum!’ [He] ª º and did not ask, 37 (saying), ‘You get it to Imar!’ [I] ªsearched for troopsº in Tuttul by means of fire signals but did not find (any). They (said), ‘It is the cold.’ ªNowº I was hard on my troops and ªgotº them to Imar ªandº left them. I (said to Hammu-Samar), ‘You have it carried!’ And I left him . . . 38 for him to have it carried. And I saw that the opinion of the land had turned rebellious and ªdidº not ªreturnº to ªTuttulº, and [ ] 2 shekels of silver [ ], and I let the troops eat dinner. I moved on and stayed overnight 39 within a mile. Yanßib-Addu saw that the drum had been abandoned and loaded it on his troops and got it to (my) place of overnight stay. I will bring the drum all the way to Halab with my own troops. And I am keeping 30 troops, regulars who went with me. My lord must know. “I am afraid they ªwill supplyº urnu trees but will leave (them) in Imar. They (said), [ ] push ªthemº off [ ] cedars [ ] I kept the troops. [ ] in Tuttul [ ] Imar [ ] I kept for their travel provisions.”4 1.


3. 4.

A Mariote official who crossed into another sovereign state was accompanied by a citizen of that state, mostly his equal in rank. Such a person was called “companion” (alik idim). In this case, Hammu-Samar was a citizen of Aleppo. In Mariote territory he was protected by Asqudum; in Halab territory he protected Asqudum. Tuttul was at the time on the border of the zones of influence of Mari and Halab. So it was only fair that Asqudum would have been responsible for the transport of the drum to Tuttul and Hammu-Samar for the remainder of the way to Halab. It turned out to be an empty promise. They would have to be paid wages for work. Asqudum probably mentions this fact in order to explain unforeseen expenses. I am not sure of many aspects of my translation. This is what I understand of the text: Asqudum, Hammu-Samar, and Mariote troops transported a large drum and other merchandise from Mari to Halab. Somewhere between Mari and Tuttul, a severe cold spell prevented the troops from pulling the boats upstream. Asqudum, Hammu-Samar, and some of the troops separated, taking the drum with them but leaving the other merchandise, notably the “mouse” and the eagles, as well as the travel provisions with the troops that remained by the river. Asqudum and his party took travel provisions for five days and went by way of the high road over the plateau on the right side of the river to Tuttul. The transport of the drum turned out to be more difficult than anticipated, and Asqudum needed to employ soldiers on furlough for pay. In Tuttul, Hammu-Samar did not take charge of the transport as he promised the king in Mari. Asqudum summoned other porters, but nobody came because of the cold. So he forced his own troops to transport it to Imar. He would have returned from there to Tuttul, probably to pick up Mariote troops whom he had expected in Imar but who had not arrived (so according to 26 20), but decided against it because security on the stretch between Imar and Tuttul was compromised. He went ahead toward Halab instead, leaving the transport of the drum to Hammu-Samar. After 1 mile (11 km) he stayed overnight. But the drum stayed where Asqudum had left it, and Yanßib-Addu, presumably a Mariote officer, made his troops transport it to Asqudum’s overnight stay. At this point, Asqudum sent the letter. He anticipated that he would have to transport the drum with his own troops all the way to

The eagles should have been alive, and the genitive “eagles of reedboxes” should have been descriptive of the content and container; hence, my translation “in.” 37. Durand reads tentatively [a-w]a-tam-ma ul isal. I assume [x]-ªxº-uT-ma ul isal. The context indicates that Hammu-Samar was not concerned about the state of the troops. 38. Durand reads tá[q-ri-ib-tam] “une escorte.” 39. a-bi-it = abit. Durand interprets the form as stative of abatum, describing the state of the troops, and translates “elle était anéantie.”

spread is 9 points long

Text 26 19



Halab. He was also concerned about a delivery of trees bound for Mari that had come from upstream, probably from Kar-Kamis. He anticipated that they would not get farther than Imar because of the security problems on the stretch between Imar and Tuttul.

26 19 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I sent this tablet of mine from ªImarº to my lord. I will arrive 5 days before Hiyar.1 The ªjourneyº was safe; [the servants] of my lord who go with me are well. I am getting underway.” 1.

When sending 26 17, Asqudum expected to arrive in Imar in 3 days so that he could be (in Halab) 3 or 4 days before Hiyar. Despite the difficulties with the transport of the drum, he seems to have gotten to Imar 1 or 2 days earlier than expected.

26 20 To [my] lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “My journey, all of it, was safe. The servants of [my] ªlordº whom I took along are well. They have ªentered Halabº. They offered the donkey of Addu and offerings. “And about ªthe troopsº of whom my lord ªspokeº, (saying), ‘Troops will arrive to meet you in ªImarº’—no troops arrived in Imar. I brought the drum, the ‘Mouse,’ the eagles, and the servants of my lord all the way to Halab with the troops who went with me and my boys. And the drum kept all the troops hopping, 40 and they . . . 41 their arms from cause of carrying. And concerning what my lord said, ‘[8 men] can carry it’—30 ªmenº barely ªcarriedº it. And their 30 alternates ª2 linesº to Halab [ ] shower [ca. 4 lines] ªboatmenº [ ] and a dinner. My lord knows. This matter became apparent in Terqa ªafterº my departure, and I searched for sheep to conduct but did not find any. In . . . 42 I saw sheep of the boys of ªYasubAdduº and conducted 6 lambs and 10 weak goats and arrived in Sahru and purified 4 lambs1 for my journey. I entrusted 6 weak lambs to Yatarum. And 10 strong goats arrived for me in Tuttul and were ªkeptº (there). I entrusted them to Lanasum. And 50 of my own rams arrived in Halab for the offerings of the servants of my lord. They are not enough for as long as I am staying. My lord must dispatch me 50 good rams. For the dinner of the servants of my lord [circa 3 lines] ª º, and [I] ªwroteº my lord to the best of my knowledge.” 1.

The purification of the lambs was preparatory to extispicies.

26 21 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I have the answer. 43 My trip to my lord is near. And they (Yarim-Lim’s servants) did ªnotº tell me (until now) that the day of 40. uddakkik. Durand quotes Charpin’s suggestion to base the meaning of the idiom on dukkukum “to crush” in comment b. Durand translates “a moulu de fatigue.” I base my translation on dakakum “to hop.” 41. Durand, [um-t]a-†ú-ú “s’est épuisé.” 42. x-x-di-i ki. Perhaps Nihadi in the district of Saggaratum (23 427 IV). 43. aplaku. Durand suggests “je suis payé” and “je me suis acquitté de ce que je devais.” I believe it refers to the common problem that envoys are not sent back promptly. Asqudum had asked for a departure date.



Text 26 22

my departure had been determined. ªThereforeº [I did] not [write] a determination ªof the dayº of my departure to my lord. [ca. 21 lines]. [ I spoke to] ªYarim-Lim as followsº: ªIº (said), ‘Give me a boy of yours who will go [ ].’ His heart became angry. ‘Why [did you make] this pronouncement? Are the servants of my son not my servants?’1 Therefore, I (herewith) send my lord ªthisº tablet of mine. My lord must send that tablet with the travel group that is moving on to Babylon.2 “And herewith I send to my lord saplings of fig 44 and Semsara boxwood. My lord must give strict instructions, and they must plant those trees quickly. “[And] Yarim-Lim had a word about Ili-Lim with me, (saying), ‘I am afraid they will make difficulties for him because of the prostration.’ Yarim-Lim spoke as follows: ‘I dispatched ªthe manº to represent my own person.’ My lord must not require that man to prostrate.3 And the one who hears it [will speak] ªas followsº: ‘ªYarim-Limº talks with ªZimri-Limº from [his full] ªheartº.’ About [ ] ªhe dispatchedº [10 lines].” 1.

2. 3.

The son is Zimri-Lim, who ranks below Yarim-Lim. Yarim-Lim seems to equate Zimri-Lim’s servants with his servants. Should Asqudum have said, “All your boys who serve Zimri-Lim are otherwise occupied; give me a boy of yours who serves you”? “That tablet” was presumably a letter from Yarim-Lim to Hammu-Rabi, which explains YarimLim’s irritation: Asqudum had asked him to have the letter carried by one of his own servants. In NABU 1990 24, Durand explains that Yarim-Lim is sending Ili-Lim to represent his person in the form of strict impersonation, which would render prostration inappropriate. One wonders whether Zimri-Lim was also required to address Ili-Lim as his father and treat him accordingly.

26 22 [To] my lord speak! Your [servant] Asqudum (says), “ªPrior toº my leaving, my lord was constantly worried (about other things), and my lord did not instruct me on which wanted items to obtain for the palace. Now ªthe tabletº of my lord about which wanted items to obtain reached me in ªManuhatanº. And what my lord wrote ªme is veryº good. Had I gone (without having received the tablet), I would have gone despite not feeling secure 45 about the wanted items for the palace. I will obtain all the wanted items that my lord wrote me (to obtain). I will keep the small-boats 10 days in Imar, and if Yarim-Lim gives me the wanted items for my lord quickly, (and) as long as I am (busy with) getting those wanted items to Imar, I will keep the ªsmall-boatsº. (If necessary) I will (also) hire ªsmall-boatsº and Imarite boats and obtain the wanted items for my lord as soon as possible, cedar, cypress, Elammakum, boxwood, copper, lead, and all other wanted items. Otherwise, should Yarim-Lim be late in giving 46 the wanted items, I will buy oil for 1 pound of silver and load it and 47 44. So Lafont, “Techniques arboricoles à Mari,” FM 3 (1997), 265, instead of Durand’s reading m i s . t a s k a r i n “boxwood.” The sign is not well preserved but is ma rather than túg. Compare the clearly written m i s . t a s k a r i n in 26 22:25. R. Zadok, “On the Amorite Material from Mesopotamia,” in The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honour of William W. Hallo (ed. M. E. Cohen et al.; Bethesda, 1993), 321, realized that Durand’s pí-ig-lam is bi-iq-lam. The word is also regarded as an Amorite loanword in Akkadian by Streck in Amurriter 1, 86–87, but the root is attested in Akkadian buqlum “malt,” that is “sprouted (matter).” 45. [a]-na/[i]-na la lakê. See my note, NABU 1995 87. 46. The text has i-na na-da-tim ulappatam. Durand translates “je ferai mettre dans des sacs de cuir.” I assume scribal error for na-da-nim. 47. The photo shows -ma after usarkabam.

spread is 12 points long

Text 26 23



dispatch the small-boats. “And about the silver deficit concerning which my lord wrote me, ‘Write me! Let them give you more silver!’—if I have too little silver, I will take the missing silver from any merchants whom I see. If I write for silver to my lord, (too many) days will ªgo byº. 48 I find the diction of this letter difficult to comprehend. Here is how I read it: Asqudum was sent to Halab to obtain wood, metals, and other merchandise. The king was too preoccupied to give detailed instructions at the time of Asqudum’s departure and sent a messenger with a tablet detailing them. The messenger caught up with the party of Asqudum, who was traveling in small-boats, in Manuhatan, halfway between Mari and Imar. Asqudum gave him the present tablet for the king. In it, he lays out his plans. He will keep the small-boats in Imar for 10 days, in which time he hopes to get the wanted merchandise overland from Halab to Imar. He will hire additional boats as necessary for the transport to Mari. If he cannot get the merchandise to Imar in 10 days, he will buy oil in Imar, load it on the smallboats, and dispatch them. Asqudum does not say it, but he presumably planned to stay behind in order to supervise the belated transport to Imar and hire boats for the return trip. The basic problem appears to be that the palace did not want the small-boats to lie idle for more than 10 days. Indications are that the palace was in constant need of boats. See 26 261; 274; 503; 27 43.

26 23 ªToº [my] lord speak! [Your] servant Asqudum (says), “I sent this tablet of mine to my lord from ªImarº. Tupki-Ishara who is in possession of ªa vineyardº 49 in Imar—that man is very attentive to the mention (of the name) of [my] ªlordº, and that man addressed me and (said), [n lines].”

26 24 Report of Asmad, a Hana leader and assistant of the pasture-chief Ibal-El at the time of 27 93, about a treaty between Yamina and the kings of Zalmaqum, dated to ZL 2u by Durand (26/1, 139). The reference to Numha, Isqa and Qaªa, and Esnuna in the badly preserved part of the letter indicates political events of wide importance.

[To] Asqudum speak! Asmad who loves you (says), “I sent (my boys) to Zalpah and Ahuna, and they checked for me, and the report that I wrote some time ago to my lord has turned out to be true. Yagih-Addu, Hardum, and Samsi-Addu have entered Ahuna. KilªaMaraß and the Uprapean Atamrel1 fled 50 to Tuttul prior to their (arrival). Asdi-Takim and the kings of Zalmaqum and the mayors and the elders of the sons of Yamina killed stallions2 in the house of Sin of Harran.3 ªThe kingsº of the land of Zalmaqum ªwere proclaimingº the following: ‘We will go to war against Dir. And we, the kings, ªwill be presentº.’ This the kings of Zalmaqum proclaimed, and ªHammanº, mayor of Dir, heard it and wrote to me, (saying), ‘ªDispatchº me [n] ªHaneansº, and they must guard the city.’ [ ] are guarding the 48. adi . . . asapparam umu [i-r]i-ku. Durand reads [i-r]e-qú and translates, following Charpin’s interpretation, “(sinon) le temps que j’écrive à mon Seigneur pour l’argent, les jours seront inemployés.” 49. The stative of ßabatum specifically designates control of land. It indicates that karanum designates a vineyard. The word does not seem to be attested elsewhere, so possibly it is a Canaanite word. 50. in-ne-ru-bu. Durand derives the form from erebum “to enter.” I derive it from nerubum “to flee.”



Text 26 25

city of Dir for the moment that the Hana [ ]. ªIn the pastº, Yahdun-Lim (even) held vagrants, 51 [and ] ªinº the midst of the land. ªNowº , let the Hana ª º [ ] east bank [ ] road [ ] Numha. Let him/them ªkillº stallions [with] ªIsqaº and Qaªa. [ ]. ªBeforeº the Esnunakean ªmakesº his decision in [16 lines mostly destroyed] of ªthe son ofº Simªal [ ] pay attention, and when the water [ ] some time ago, the kings of the land of [ ] wrote to me ‘[ ] meet with us!’ ª º [ ] Hamman, the Dirite, stepped on my foot, (saying), ‘[n lines.’] “[n lines] ªbring it to the attentionº of the king, [and] they must guard ªDunnumº and the ªtracts of Mislan that are watered by drawingº (water) up to the. . . . 52 I indeed did what was necessary (in preparation) for the king to come up to this land [and] to establish his ªpositionº quickly. Pay close attention to my letter and do not neglect it!” 1. 2. 3.

Or: “The Uprapeans K. and A.” Treaties were finalized by killing stallions. The symbolism is unknown. They may have been consecrated to the gods who guaranteed the treaty and subsequently eaten by the treaty partners. I do not understand the connection between the entry of Yamina leaders into Ahuna and the Yamina mayors and elders who are treaty partners of the kings of Zalmaqum. I expect the leaders to be the treaty partners and the mayors and elders to be included in the treaty ceremony as a means of preventing strife between Yamina clans.

26 25 This is one of the rare letters from the king. Durand, in 26/1, 140, describes the letter’s historical background and concludes that it was written in ZL 2u, when Zimri-Lim was facing an alliance of Ibal-Pi-El of Esnuna and the Yamina. The stance of Amut-Pi-El, king of Qa†anum, must have been of crucial importance at this time. The letter includes the copy of a letter to Amut-Pi-El. Kupper (28, 15) believes that 28 14 is Amut-Pi-El’s answer.

To Asqudum speak! Your lord (says), “According to the letter that you ªwroteº me, once the month of Kinunum (VII) is completed, at ªthe beginning of the month of Daganº (VIII), the troops will move out and go upstream to meet you. By ªnoº means ªpostponeº the deadline that you wrote me! And herewith I have ªwritten downº on (this) tablet a copy of the tablet that I sent Amut-Pi-El, and I have sent it to you. Listen to it! Bring that message to ªthe attention of Amut-Pi-Elº!” To ªAmut-Pi-El speakº! Your brother Zimri-Lim (says), “ªYour messenger whom you dispatchedº to ªEsnunaº and (concerning whom) you wrote ªtoº me as follows: ªYou (said), ‘Placeº escorts for him! They must escort him to ªEsnunaº.’ [This] you wrote me. That ªmessenger of yoursº I kept [with] ªmeº. ªAsº in the proverb [ ] ªthey tellº [6 lines] ªyou dispatchº [to] the fire?1 And he2 repeatedly threatened ªthe messengersº of Yarim-Lim who ªcameº, (saying), ‘Why did he not ªgiveº me the ªurnuº-wood that I wanted from him?’ And he treated them as one should not treat anyone. Therefore, I have kept ªyourº messenger ªwithº me.º And I quickly wrote you a full ªreportº. Now write [me], so or not so, a ªfullº report in view of your consultations! Until your response to my ªtablet comes backº, I ªam keepingº your servant with me.

51. lú ha-ab-ba-t[e.m e s ú]-ki-il-[su-nu-ti]. Durand, “contint les pillards.” Perhaps the example from history refers to the successful employment of people not usually employed, illustrating Hamman’s unconventional use of persons to guard the city until the arrival of the Hana. 52. qaqqarim, literally “the ground.”

Text 26 26



“Further: Your are invited to the offering of the body rites3 of Dagan and the offerings of Estar. Come!” 1. 2. 3.

In 28 14, Amut-Pi-El quotes Zimri-Lim words as follows: “I ªkeptº him ªbeforeº [me]. They ªput yourº former ªmessenger to deathº. And shall we ªnowº toss this one ªin the same wayº into fire?” According to 28 14, “he” is the king of Esnuna. For the offering of the body rite, see Birot’s comment to 14 12 and 27 59a, and Durand and Guichard, “Rituels,” 35–36. The rite is connected with Dagan. It is also attested in Ugarit. In a prophecy relayed in 26 220, Dagan requests an offering of the rite for a specific day. Dagan’s request to be “given a body” in 26 233 is likely connected with the rite.

26 26–33 are reports of Asqudum about military matters.

26 26 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “My lord spoke to me as follows: ‘No, the troops are ªassembledº in Terqa.’ I arrived and waited 3 days in Terqa, and no troops whatsoever were ªassembledº. I set out and arrived the next day in ªDur-Yahdun-Limº and, ªas ofº my ªarrival, askedº Kibri-Estar and (said), ‘Where are the troops?’ He (said), ‘Presently 53 they will come as scheduled.’ I (said), ‘ªSince the troopsº have not arrived, [circa 10 lines].’

26 27 The military backbone of Mari was Hana troops, and their enlistment was an important aspect of government and not always an easy task. In the situation of the present letter, Asqudum, serving as the king’s agent, relied on the pasture-chief, Ibal-El, and the Hana leader, Hali-Hadun. See also 26 31 and the second paragraph of 26 40.

To my lord [speak]! Your ªservant Asqudumº (says), “Before the arrival of the tablet of my lord, which is about assembling the Hana in Guppurum, 54 I consulted and sent the Hanean Ibal-El to the Hana and Hali-Hadun. I (said), ‘Go to the Hana and Hali-Hadun! Speak as follows: You (say), “The troops, all of them, are conscripts, 55 and Asqudum has taken their lead. He is staying in Manuhatan and secures their travel provisions.’ ” I wrote this to the Hana and then set for him (Hali-Hadun) 6 days as a date. Once Ibal-El reports back to me on the outcome of assembling the Hana and the place where they are headed, I will write 53. pa-na-su. I have guessed at the meaning. Durand translates, “son avant-garde.” There is no noun panûm (< panaªum) in AHw. or adverb panasu, but I assume their existence in my translation. 54. There is no place determinative, which is not uncommon for assembly places of the Hana. See above, p. 30. Durand understands it as an appellative and translates it in LAPO 18 1233b as “en force.” 55. gi-BI-tum. Durand suggests the translation “conscrits.” According to the context here, the designation of troops as gi-BI-tum is an inducement for the Hana to join the troops that are being assembled. According to 26 363, Babylonian gi-BI-e-tum troops held the line against an Elamite threat that was severe enough to necessitate a total mobilization; in 26 366 gi-BI-e-tum troops are contrasted with “fieldmen” and “rescue formations.”



Text 26 28

to my lord a full report on that which Ibal-El reported back. If he reports back the news that they go, [I will let] the diviners make ªexptispiciesº. [8 lines] “And about the issue of Sasiya [ ]—my lord must understand that Dagan had taken the lead of [the troops]. And he handed the land, all of it, over to my lord. ªSasiyaº, to ªwhomº my lord carried silver and gold in the past, and who was ªnotº agreeable, now ªDaganº has placed ªgoodº words between my lord and Sasiya. “And if the Hana are ªdecidedº to go, I will have the troops who [go] with me, all of them, ªobtainº 56 the travel provisions for it 57 over here. And I will depart from here for Qa††unan ªbeforeº its travel provisions are ªseizedº.1 And my lord must catch up with me in Qa††unan. I will do what is necessary to prevent the troops from going (all the way) until Saggaratum2 and from getting dispersed. 58 I will be on guard over here. My lord must know.” 1. 2.

That is to say, “before the process of obtaining travel provisions is completed.” The plan is for the king and Asqudum to meet in Qa††unan. Asqudum is in Manuhatan, a fair distance upstream from Saggaratum on the Euphrates. The direct route from Manuhatan to Qa††unan runs through the steppe south of Jebel Abd el-Aziz. The phrase “until Saggaratum” suggests a route along the Euphrates, then turning northeast off the valley and continuing on to the Habur, while leaving Saggaratum not too far distant on the right. Perhaps Asqudum did not want the troops to pass Saggaratum because visits of relatives and other diversions would slow them down.

26 28 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I have arrived in Qa††unan. The Qa†anean troops are with me, and the cold has caused the troops suffering. And if I did not go with them and ªcater to their wishesº 59 all the time, [ ] wherever [8 lines] ªmoreoverº [ ] must hurry to ªSaggaratumº!”

26 29 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “Messengers of Hali-Hadun arrived from before the Hana. Those men were worn out, and I kept them. And the tablet that they ªcarryº for my lord and the tablet that they ªcarryº for me [I] ªsealedº and sent (them) on to [my] ªlordº. [10 lines] My lord [ ] the road [ ] must dispatch [ ] must ªreachº Mari. My lord must quickly catch up with ªthe troopsº. I did (extispicy of) ªthe white sheepº 60 of Kalalum. My lord must get here quickly. 56. Durand, ú-sa-al-[la-am] “parachèverai.” I assume ú-sa-al-[qa]. See 26 424:5–6. 57. No reference for the feminine possessive suffix is found in the text. It possibly refers to unspoken harranum “road, expedition” or girrum “campaign.” 58. na-AS-pu-uh-su. Durand, whose interpretation of the passage differs, reads -às-, derived from sapahum, and translates “licenciement.” Since AS is not normally used for /as/, it is perhaps better to read nasp/buhsu and derive the form from sapahum (AHw.) or sabahum (CAD). This verb has a similar meaning and is perhaps simply a variant pronunciation of sapahum (see Durand’s comment f). In both cases, the sense of the passage is improved if we assume that the negation of the first infinitive, la alak (ßabim), also applies to naspuhsu. 59. For this idiom, see n. 203 to 26 176. 60. ßú-u[p-p]é. Durand, “les agneaux-ßuppum”; AHw. ßuppu III, “weisses Schaf,” according to the Sumerian equivalent u d u . b a b b a r .

Text 26 30



“Further: The troops seized travel provisions. And there is no oil. And it is a time of cold. I calculated their oil rations now, and they must supply me quickly by [boat] with 8 bushels and 22 liters of oil for oil rations of the troops,1 and [ ] quickly. My lord knows ªthatº the troops are not [able to] ªdo battleº in the cold without the oil.” 1.

Durand, in comment d, calculates 3,928 troops on the basis of an oil ration of 15 shekels.

26 30 To [my] ªlordº speak! Your [servant] Asqudum (says), “ªMessengers of Hali-Hadun arrivedº [from] ªbeforeº the Hana. They (said), ‘The Hana, all of them, are assembled ªinº Saphum.’ I (said), ‘You (pl.) will take the lead of these troops ª º. And take along spies!’ [n lines].”

26 31 [To] our lord speak! Your servants Asqudum and Hali-Hadun (say), “Since (the time) that we departed from before our lord, we arrived at the encampment,1 and as long as HaliHadun was bringing out (from their homes) the Hana who are to go to my lord and (join) the troops—until this day (when that was accomplished), we did not decree2 (anything) for the Hana. And I arrived in Qa††unan and collected (and) brought in the grain of the palace. Now Hali-Hadun arrived, and the Hana assembled in Qa††unan, [and] we did issue a decree, [namely] on ªcollectingº 2 hundred sheep and ªthe harvestº.3 5 days after [I sent this] tablet to my lord, [9 lines] any that ªwere comingº ªfrom the bankº [of the Euphrates] ªweº asked ªaboutº the harvest, ªandº [they] ªwere speakingº [to us] as follows: ‘The collection of the harvest is being ªneglectedº. Our lord [must] ªgive strict ordersº, namely, on ªcollecting the harvestº [of the bank] of the Euphrates quickly.’ ªAsº our lord always goes with his thinking at last, he will certainly do [what] seems ªtoº him!” 1.



The word nawûm, which translated “encampment” in this context, was studied by F. R. Kraus, who concluded that it designates “Sommerweidegebiet und/oder die dort befindlichen Herden und/oder die Personen bei den Herden” (“Akkadische Wörter und Ausdrücke, XI,” RA 70 [1976], 172–79). Durand translates “steppe,” which creates the problem of the semantic differentiation of a whole slate of words translated “steppe”; Charpin translates “troupeaux.” In the present context, the encampment was the place from which the agents of the king supervised the enlistment of Hana troops. See above, p. 30. I suspect that the word translated “to decree” (sapa†um) here designates the issuing of marching orders. The word is of special interest because the word translated “governor” is sapi†um, which means literally, “the one who decrees.” Which harvest? Durand comments that Asqudum harvested the grain of the palace and that the Hana subsequently harvested the grain of the “impôt locale.” Perhaps the statements about Asqudum’s harvesting and the Hana’s harvesting are not separate, as the phrasing suggests, but instead are complementary: Asqudum brought in the harvest with the help of the Hana after they arrived in Qa††unan.

26 32 [To our] ªlordº speak! Your servants ªAsqudumº and ªHali-Hadunº (say), “Messengers ªofº Bunuma-Addu and ªSibku-Na-Addu arrivedº before us ª º a messenger of [ ]. [We]



Text 26 33

ªheard theirº words.1 Their words were evil, and we were inclined to send them back but were in fear of our lord. Now, herewith we have dispatched those ªmen toº our lord. My 61 lord must not listen to their words. Their words are false. And our lord must have a word with them as follows: ‘For 8 months I have kept writing to you for peace. And my gods ªare placedº with ªyour godsº.2 I shall ªsend youº [ ]. I ªwantº from you ªwell-beingº for my ªlandº.’ These [words] my lord [must say to] ªthemº. [n lines]. “[Further]: Our ªlordº must give [strict orders] to Meptum, so they can arrest [ ]. He (Meptum) must come after [ ]. And he must dispatch his boys.” 1. 2.

They may be quoted in 28 31, a letter of Sibku-Na-Addu to Hali-Hadun. It was customary for treaty partners to swear by the gods of the other party. In this case Mari had sent its gods to the two kings of Zalmaqum. It is not known what kind of divine representations were sent—certainly not the large valuable divine images that served as the focus for the temple cult.

26 33 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Asqudum (says), “Yasim-Dagan mustered his troops, and there are ªsoldiers on furloughº. And I ªsentº [to] my lord a name-list. [ ] go on an expedition [circa 14 lines. I have] ªsentº you ªthisº [tablet] from Saluhum.”

26 34 The writer of this letter was probably an otherwise unknown vassal of Zimri-Lim and not the diviner Asqudum, spelled Hasqudum.

To [my] lord speak! Your servant Hasqudum (says), “About the tablet that I sent my lord some time ago—I sent1 my lord as follows: ‘Since I ªwroteº for troops, you did not ªprovideº [n lines] this report ª º.’ Thus I spoke to him. That tablet that you sent [ ] ªlordº” (remainder not understandable). 1.

The scribe may have wanted to write “wrote” but repeated “sent” by mistake.

26 35–38 Affairs of Suhum. Charpin and Durand suggest in “Assur,” 391, comment a, that Asqudum of these letters was not the diviner but the servant of Meptum, who is mentioned in A.4535-bis. Yet Asqudum’s role as “headman” of Meptum (26 35) shows that he ranked higher than Meptum, which leads me to believe that he is the diviner after all. The campaign of Sallurum, which is mentioned in 26 37, was dated to ZL 3u by Durand (26/1, 144). FM 3 58 reveals that Yabliya was evacuated in ZL 2. See §4c.

61. be-lí. Durand emends to bené, but the suffix “our” in this letter is, as often, written -ne. Change of grammatical number in self-reference in letters with two senders is not uncommon.

Text 26 35



26 35 [To our lord speak]! Your [servants Asqudum and Asmad] (say), “We arrived in Hurban, and Meptum came from Harbe to meet us and placed a full report before us. He (said), ‘Many days ago I settled 2 thousand strong lance-troops and land1 up to Wurqana for my lord. Now you have come as a headmen. You have been installed as mouthpieces of your lord. Do what you have to do! If you evacuate the troops, their population is 10 thousand men and women. And in Yabliya, Ayyabe, and Harbe, there are 3 thousand tracts of grain and 2 hundred tracts of plant oil.’2 This (word) Meptum placed before us, and we consulted and (said), ‘Once we evacuate a population of 10 thousand and also leave their grain behind, it will be a heavy burden for the palace to feed (them).’ Now I will write to our lord regarding the situation that I see. Boats and ªpack assesº, indeed ªcartsº [15 lines].3 “And herewith I have conducted to my lord an informer whom they captured from Situllum. My lord must ask him.” 1. 2. 3.

Durand translates “des gens du royaume.” Perhaps the families and servants are meant. Note that the evacuation of 10,000 people is at stake. Durand believes that these numbers represent the reserves in the palaces of the three cities. The 2,000 soldiers and their families presumably had been settled in and around Yabliya, Ayyabe, and Harbe. The king decided to move them from the southern border of the kingdom to various locations, one of which was Qa††unan on the northern border (27 7). The Yabliyaites among them were issued oil in Dir near Mari in month X of ZL 2 (FM 3 58). The evacuation of southern Suhum is also mentioned in 26 38 and 481.

26 36 ªToº [my lord] speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “Meptum wrote some time ago to my lord, ‘The Hurbanite Yarim-Addu preoccupies me. Herewith I dispatch 2 men with him to my lord. My lord must detain them in ªMariº.’ And I ª 62º him, and prior to my leaving I spoke [to] my [lord] ªas followsº: I (said), ‘According to the letter of Meptum, my lord must detain that man ªhereº until I understand the issue.’ Now who, unreasonably, brought (it) to the attention of my lord (that the man be released), and my lord released that man, and he (that man, Yarim-Addu) then warned 63 the land, all of it, (saying), ‘The Hana came to devour you.’ “Further: If Buqaqum [6 lines] I dispatch for the sheep, and then those sheep will enter the palace safe and sound.”

26 37 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “From ªHarbe I wrote as followsº to Sallurum: I (said), ‘The men who ªliftedº bronze lances ªagainstº the troops of the house of Tispak1 and did harm to The Prince,2 I arrested them. I will take them along to ªmy lordº. [And] The Prince will write to his son (Zimri-Lim), and they will treat them [according to] 62. Durand reads ªaº-m[u-u]r-su-ma. The photo does not show readable traces. 63. uwaZZir. Durand suggests “il avait excité” on the basis of the context and suggests a contrast between Mari wzr and Babylonian *yzr (= ªzr in AHw. and nzr in CAD). Stol, JAOS 111 (1991), 628 brings together forms of a verb wußßurum with the meaning “to alarm.”



Text 26 38

his pronouncement. And those men were about to depart ªforº Babylon. Had I not caught them, those men would have departed and established grounds for reclamation for the tablet of . . . 64 for many days to come.3 “ ‘Now ªdispatchº your agents, ªand the grainº of those cities [n lines]. “[I wrote Sallurum as follows: ‘n lines] write me! [ ] If not so, write [ ]!’ This I wrote ªSallurumº. My lord must know. And ªso far a responseº to my letter did not ªreturnº. And until a response to my letter returns, I will leave 2 hundred troops in Harbe. And as last time, I ªbroughtº the troops of the outposts ªto full strengthº. “Further: I keep hearing contrary things among the opinions of the Hana ªwhoº came ªwithº Asmad. They (said), ‘Choose citizens of Rapiqum whom they distributed 65 in the cities that we evacuated, and give them to us ªas prisoners of warº!’ I (said), ‘They will [ ] these to [ ] of the interior of the land.’ They (said), ‘It4 will take fright.’ Now I carried it out after all. 66 And the Haneans do not have the right attitude. I am afraid they will lay hands on (them), and they will loot the population. My lord must consult and come to Hanat, or else a place of his liking, to meet the troops. If not so, my lord must give strict orders, and [ ] must bring [ ] and ªthe mayorsº. “[ ] is well. ªThe heartº [of my lord need] not [be concerned] about a thing.” 1. 2. 3. 4.

Tispak is the principal god of the city of Esnuna, and “house of Tispak” is a circumlocution for Esnuna. “Prince” is a title of the king of Esnuna. See Charpin, “Chronologie,” 62–64. Note that the Sumerian name of the city includes the title “prince.” It means “Sanctuary of the Prince.” Mari would have been liable for damage caused by the troops, and it would have complicated matters if they were beyond the reach of Mariote authorities in the territory of Babylon. I assume, with Durand, that “it” refers to the land.

26 38 See 26 481.

To our lord speak! Your servants Asqudum and Asmad (say), “Some time ago, we wrote to our lord about the trip of our lord to Hanat to meet the troops. Now our lord must not put it off. He must bring the guards of the city of Mari to full strength, and our lord must come to Hanat to meet the troops, and our lord must perform an offering before (the goddess) Hanat. And he must see the troops whom we moved ªandº calm their heart, which is frightened. Our lord may make the trip back in 6 days. If our lord does not come, the persons whom we evacuated, together with their little boys and girls—we will take them along to our lord. So or not so, our lord must quickly send a response to our tablet.”

26 39 To Asqudum speak! Nahimum (says), “You wrote me about my trip to my lord ZimriLim. You (said), ‘5 mayors must come with you, and (you) hear the lip of your lord and ob64. ki-im-ki-ma-an. 65. i-zu-[z]u-ú. Durand derives the form from izuzzum and translates “qui restent.” I derive from zâzum, which has /u/ as a stem-vowel. 66. istu ullanum usallimam. Durand translates “depuis lors, je suis arrivé à mes fins.”

Text 26 40



tain the consolation of your heart!’ ªI—with whatº does my heart concern itself, and [ ] 67 to go to Zimri-Lim? My lord alerted me, (speaking) as follows: 68 ‘Declare (pl.) me a sacred [oath]! And I shall ªkillº a stallion of peace between (me and) Mutebal. Once wrong and harm happen, I will not let you live.’ With this my lord instructed me, and therefore I keep writing to Ibal-Pi-El and Yanßiban.1 Since my lord established peace between (himself and) Mutebal, I guarded the instruction of my lord, and wrong and harm did not happen. Still, the heart of my lord was very angry. (He said), ‘[3 lines]. And however many ªcome downº the river I will put in jail.’ Is it right? Have you (pl.) set your sight on doing injustice? And you make prisoners of war of your fellows during the state of peace? The days of peace go by, and we keep worrying about war. You well know: once they2 are being stirred up, they never clear up. And the future will be more painful than the past. Will not the evil and the nogood be happy about this? Seize the hand of your lord, and they should not make a criminal of the one ªwhoº goes down the river! Who goes down may go down: who comes up may ªcome upº! Confusion must not develop!”3 1. 2. 3.

Ibal-Pi-El is a Mariote pasture-chief. Nahimum kept contact with him, presumably because the location were he stayed was closer than Mari. The unmentioned subject of the verb is a feminine plural. I assume the days of peace are meant. Durand quotes from the unpublished letter A.1281, in which Íura-Hammu, the king of Awnan, writes Zimri-Lim that he sent Nahimum to suppress talk of people who went downstream and ran into difficulties with Mariote authorities. On the other hand, he warned Zimri-Lim not to appropriate the fields and houses of such “sons of the river.” The same affair is dealt with on a lower level, between Nahimum and Asqudum in the present letter. The designation “sons of the river” suggests a group of people whose livelihood depended principally on the river. The geographical indications of the letters that mention Nahimum, which are all quoted by Durand, indicate that the river was the Balih or the Euphrates in the vicinity of the mouth of the Balih. The term “Mutebal” is also attested in FM 2 116, where it is used as general designation for pasturalist Yamina. See above, p. 17.

26 40–41 More affairs of Suhum.

26 40 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “My lord [ ] the message of the tablet of Hammu-Rabi, ªking of Babylonº, which came to my lord. Finally! 69 My ªlordº can see that the message of Hammu-Rabi and [ ]. Did my [lord] not know that [the king] of Babylon [will not] ªcommit himselfº to my lord? And about ªthe issueº [ ] my [lord] wrote me, ‘I placed ªthatº issue before my servants, and we consulted about ªcedingº Id, and my servants (said), “Go to 70 [ ] and see the kings of your alliance [and] ªwriteº about ceding Id to [your] 67. Durand reads [ú-ul at-ta]-a ana ßer Zimri-Lim a-la-kam [ka-l]e-et “N’est-ce point toi qui empêche d’aller chez Zimri-Lim?” 68. The photo shows ki-a-am, which is left out in Durand’s transliteration. 69. Durand suggests the reading [k]i watar and translates “combien est excessif (ce que dit H.).” I read [l]a watar. The translation is based on the context of 26 346:9. 70. ana ßer. Based on the use of this prepositional phrase, the name of a person, perhaps Yarim-Lim, is lost in the break.


26 41


Text 26 41

ªbrotherº Hammu-Rabi!” And now I sent 2 light couriers [to] ªBabylonº.’ [This] my lord wrote me. And I placed the news of the text of the tablet [of ] Hammu-Rabi before YaqqimAddu and Zimri-Erah, servants of my lord.1 “About the issue of the Hana, on which my lord gave me instructions—I got underway as my lord instructed me. I was not detained a single day anywhere. I reached Raßum, the locality of the appointment, and 10 personal guards and 10 Suheans whom my lord dispatched with me, those men I sent in all directions, one each to the sheepfolds.2 And I lighted a fire [ ] the mayors and the first group 71 [of the Hana] have arrived. The issue of assembling the Hana [ ] The Hana [ ] barely in one month. And the Hana, any that ªarriveº [28 lines, partly preserved, continuing the topic of the Hana] I will give ªthemº [into] ªthe handsº of my lord, [and] I will write the full [report on] ªthe Hanaº to my lord.3 “I keep ªhearingº that 72 Qarni-Lim [and] the Kurdaite ªHammu-Rabiº [ ] to do battle. I sent ªPNº to Qarni-Lim to check on news of them. [And] I sent [ ]-Lim to Hammu-Rabi. Once they arrive, I will write a full report to my lord. “And my lord need not worry about the fact that ªthe Hanaº are late in assembling. The Hana, all of them, will ªassembleº like one man.” 1.



Control over the city of Id was sought and at some point shared by Mari and Babylon (see comment 4 to 26 249). The topic is treated by Lackenbacher in 26/2, 451–57. This letter is the earliest to mention the affair. See 26 160 and 468. The passage exemplifies the difficulties in rounding up Hana for military service. Asqudum sends his men to sheepfolds, where the shepherds presumably gathered in the evening with their livestock to protect them from predators during the night. Such sheepfolds were (always?, occasionally?) run by men who did not necessarily own sheep themselves (27 70). For the enlistment of Hana troops, see 26 27.

26 41 = 2 98 = LAPO 17 546 The letter may be speaking of the evacuees of Suhum and the concern that some of them may want to evade state authority by shedding their belongings and making their way to relatives among the Hana rather than being forced to settle somewhere.

To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “In everything that I carried out and (in which) no wrong at all occurred, ªprior toº my ªdeparture from Yabliyaº, [n lines] they must stay, and they (the evacuees) will take along those men, 73 slaves, oxen and [sheep]. And they (the authorities) must arrest anyone who goes empty-handed. And scouts must stay on the right bank from Appan to Niattum-Burtum, 74 and anyone who is headed toward 71. ma-ah-ri/e-i/et. Durand transcribes mahrêtum, sees in mahrêt Hana a synonym of qaqqadat Hana, and translates “les principaux.” Another example of mahritum = first group is 26 47:9. 72. [es15-te]-ne-em-me-e-ma. Durand translates -ma as “que.” I emend to -ma. 73. Durand reads, after first collation, lú N[u-u]m-[h]a-yu-ªúº.mes; after second collation, lú ªsu*-nuº*-ti. 74. C. Kühne published a text from Tell Chuera that associates certain days with U.tu niattu (“Ein mittelassyrischer Kulttext aus der westlichen Gezira,” AoF 24 [1997], 383–89). He argued for reading burtu niattu. The literal meaning of the expression, “well belonging to us,” suggests for the Mari reference that this well still belonged to the settled inhabitants on the bank of the Euphrates. The wells beyond it would have belonged to the Hana. There are in this area, currently called “canyon lands” (bilad al-wadiyat), many wells on the bottom of the large, long

Text 26 42



moving on to an encampment, they (the scouts) must arrest and gather them up to meet the mayors of the Hana in Mari. This my lord must not disregard. And he must write the governors [ ], and they must ªarrestº as many [of these] as they see.”

26 42–88 Various letters of Asqudum.

26 42 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “The bearers of good news who arrived from before the Hana1 stayed overnight with me. I did not believe this news until those bearers of good news arrived. Now those bearers of good news herewith move on to my lord. May my lord be happy!” 1.

These were possibly the three Hana Zakura-Ahum, Hanzan, and Yatasrum, “bearers of good news,” who received garments according to 22 167, 327 and 23 448–51 on or before 15 XI 2u.

26 44 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “Some time ago, my lord spoke to ªthe mayorsº as follows: ‘There is a taboo ªamong youº. [They (exorcists and purifiers)] must ªwash offº the taboo.’1 ªAsº my lord dropped those ªwordsº among them, and ª º to them, [ ] ªa commoner roseº. [And he spoke as follows]: [5 lines]. ªNowº my lord [must dispatch] ªexorcistsº and purifiers.2 When the Hana ªparleyº,3 they must wipe [them] clean. And the matter must be ªset rightº, [and] the taboo must [ ]. “Further: My tablet [ ] to [ ], (saying), ‘[ ] tablet [ ].’ Herewith I dispatch ªyou (Zimri-Lim and the mayors)º [the exorcists] and the purifiers [ ].When the Hana parley, they must clean ªthemº. [ ] return [them]!” 1.

2. 3.

The word translated “taboo” here is Akkadian asakkum, which derives from Sumerian á - s ì g “arm hitter.” I believe that the word originally designated rigor mortis (because á - s ì g was turned into stone according to the Ninurta-myth “Lugal-e Ud Melambi Nirgal”), the feared end result of transgressing a taboo. Charpin reconstructed a rite of swearing an oath in which the juror ate plants that he believed would harm him if he transgressed the oath (Charpin, “Manger”). It explains the expressions “to eat a taboo” and “to place a taboo in the mouth of someone” (26 52). Anbar believes that the transgression of a taboo in the present letter occurred when Hana took spoils (Tribus, 146). The taboos that had to be gathered up and brought to Addu of Halab (26 194) and the taboos that came from various cities (26 206) were apparently concrete items and may well have been spoils of war also. The right of the common soldier to keep his spoil was also a taboo according to 2 13. It was guaranteed by an oath that military officers swore to the highest gods and the king. Durand, NABU 1990 1, suggests that the “purifiers” (mussiru) were technicians who ministered to persons swearing an oath before divine weapons. The terms “parley” (rihßum) and “parleying” (rahaßum) designate the function of an assembly whereby individuals could voice their opinions frankly. The expenditure of a lamb for a “parley”

canyons that drain wide areas west of the Euphrates. One might also connect the name with 3 33, where fields are said to be located i-na ni-i-ia-tim “in ours.” Durand sees a place-name, “Niªatum,” in the latter (LAPO 17 779a).



Text 26 45

indicates that it had a ceremonial component (26/1, 185 n. 18). For more details, see Durand, 26/1, 181–87.

26 45 Durand notes that the letter was written by the same hand as 26 46.

To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “My lord wrote me about Iti-Lim, ‘I am afraid he will drop (the name of) Ibal-Pi-El to (elicit) the opinions of the Hana 75 at the time of the parley.’ (It is bad enough that even) before we hear anything from the mouth of ItiLim, I keep hearing ªfromº Bit Kapan untoward things ªaboutº Ibal-Pi-El from the mouth of ªmanyº, (namely), ‘Ibal-Pi-El never gave us good news and did not mention to us the words of our lord.’ I keep hearing these things ªfrom the mouthº of many. Now my lord wrote me about Iti-Lim. Before the parley, I will send Iti-Lim to ˇabatum or else to Haya-Sumu, and he will not be present at the parley. I will detain those who rise and (who) talk of Ibal-Pi-El in the parley. When the Hana have assembled, and then the parley has been set, so or not so, I will write a full report to my lord.”

26 46 To my lord ªspeak! Yourº servant Asqudum (says), “ªThe Hanaº, all of them, ªassembled. Nowº, 76 [as] always when my lord lit fires, 77 ªthe Hanaº, all of them, assembled? The Hana, all of them, are assembled now,1 and I delivered the instruction of my lord. I caused them relief with words. And they rose and proclaimed favorable words and greetings to [my] ªlordº. 78 There was not a single objection. And herewith ªYaqqim-Adduº brings back the news on ªthe Hana, allº [of them], whatever he has heard, and I dispatch him to my lord. My lord must pay close attention to his words. And ªIº [ ] the report on the kings [of ] after (sending) this tablet of mine. [2 lines] ªifº [my] lord [says (so)], I will ªdepartº.” 1.

The triple confirmation of the assembly of all of Hana seems odd. Perhaps the second mention is an expression of surprise: “They are assembled; I never believed that they would, but, in fact, they are assembled.”

26 47 ªTo my lord speakº! [Your servant] Asqudum (says), “I ªmusteredº [the cattle] and equids of the ªpickº 79 [of in] Qa††unan. 13 bulls, 52 cows, 50 [stallions and n] mares of ªthe first 75. ana pî Hana Ibal-pi-El inaddi, which means literally, “he (Iti-Lim) will drop Ibal-Pi-El onto the mouth of the Hana.” Durand translates “j’ai peur . . . I. ne fasse l’objet de critiques de la part de Hanéens.” The idiom is also attested in 27 36:31–32: sumi ana la damqatim ana pî halßim ittanaddi “he keeps dropping my name maliciously to (elicit) the opinions of the district.” 76. Durand restores [sa i-n]a. I restore [i-na-an-n]a. inanna is used so much that its occurrence in the very next sentence does not seem problematic. 77. See Marti, NABU 2001 79. 78. I read sulum be-l[í-i]a id-bu-bu instead of Durand’s sulum be-l[í-ia l]i-id-bu-bu. The photo is not readable. 79. laqtum: according to Bardet, a livestock tax (23, 50–51). Commenting on 27 112, Birot

Text 26 48

26 48



groupº; 8 cows are increment. [ ] that are not ªsuitableº for being received; 3 cows (and) 2 equids are ªdeadº [ ]. And I [set] ªhandº to assembling the sheep. They are assembling (them), and [I will write] a report to [my lord] on which [of them are] on hand and which of them are dead. “Further: I ªhadº extispicies done in two ªroundsº [for the well-being] of the lower district, ªfromº ªYabliyaº and up to ªHarbeº [from] ªthe fifth of thisº month [to the nth of the month] of Dagan. [ ] are ªbadº [ ].”

26 48 = 2 95 = LAPO 16 264 To our lord speak! Your servants Asqudum and Hali-Hadun (say), “Niqman, together with the elders of Qaªa, arrived before us, and we have dispatched them to our lord. Our lord must listen to their words, and our lord must answer them forthrightly in view of their words and dispatch them.”1 1.

That is, “send them back and not detain them!”

26 50 To [my] lord speak! [Your] servant Asqudum (says), “ª6 linesº The cows are well. Any that cross the river, they (the people on the other side of the river) will return to [ ]. I wrote my lord the news that reached me [and] of which I became aware.” Cattle can swim well and over long distances, so even the Euphrates may be meant here.

26 51 [To my] lord ªspeak! [Your] servant ªAsqudumº (says), “[About] the reed [ ], I sent (some) ªquickly for the workº [of ] ªthe craftsmen. Now, theyº [ ] ªthe governorsº, and [ for] the work of the craftsmen. ªNowº, my ªlordº was worried sick that they did [not] execute the orders of my lord, and ª7 linesº. My lord must send [ ] with Bannum ªhereº. [ ] the governors, and they must float down reed [or else] ªfirewoodº for ªthe work of the craftsmenº. I have postponed [ ] ªover hereº. I will bring a boat with reed ªwithº my own boys, and they will float it down, ªso thatº the craftsmen will not be ªidleº.”

26 52 To [my] lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “[My] lord ªwroteº me ªabout the guardsmenº 80 under the authority of Kaªalan, (saying), ‘What? 81 ªEnlistedº men left their guard of the road of Abullatum and departed?’ I gathered them up. I placed the taboo of my lord in their mouth.”1 (remainder destroyed) 1.

See comment 1 to 26 44.

considers the possibility that the animals of the laqtum were captured. The translation “pick” is based on the presumed literal meaning of laqatum. 80. I follow Durand’s reading, [nu]n.na. 81. ma la-[a]p-tu-tum. I assume that ma stands for ma-a. Durand reads ma-la -[a]p-tutum . . . and translates “tous le réquisitionnés.”



Text 26 53

26 53 To [my] lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “About ªthe collection ofº [silver], concerning which [my] ªlordº [wrote me], ª5 linesº. Now I set ªhand toº the collection of ªsilverº. I will carry out the collection of silver and write a full report to my lord, so or not so.”1 1.

The formula “so or not so” (annitam la annitam) refers to the outcome of a choice. It is not obvious which is the choice in the present case and the next letter. Perhaps the king had demanded a certain sum, and Asqudum did not know whether it could be reached.

26 54 [To] my [lord] speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “Today I carry out the collection of silver. And I seal the silver promptly, each time I receive it, inside bags 82 and place it bag inside bag for . . . 83 and bring it out and entrust it [to ]. And my lord ªknowsº that [ ] ªsilver ªis collectedº in the same way from the commoners. ª16 linesº. “ªFurtherº: About the guard of the city—40 men, reliable gents, 84 have been ªenlistedº. They entered ªwithº me. Men in ªthe districtº of Mari, Terqa, and Saggaratum guard the (respective) city in one double-hour shifts. 85 [And] Meptum and Kaªalan guard ªthe approachesº of the crossings. 86 ªThe guardº of the city is strong. “ªSo or not soº, my lord must quickly ªsendº [a response to] my [tablet], ªso that I can embarkº at dusk time on a small-boat and depart.”

26 55 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “The herdboys addressed me, (saying), ‘Last year they (royal officials) summoned 87 the sheep to Íuprum, but the one-year-olds1 had not given birth to ªearlyº lambs. Now once again, once they conduct the sheep to Íuprum for muster, one-year-olds will not give birth to early lambs.’ 88 My ªlordº [must] dispatch tab82. sa-AG-sa-tum. Durand connects it with taksûm. The singular is written sa-aG-sa-am and sa-aG-si-im. 83. a-na ªxº [x]. Durand reads a-na-k[u-ma]. 84. d u mu . m e s l ú . m e s ták-lu-tum probably represents mar awili taklutum. Durand translates “gens libres.” Draftees of the upper class often sent their servants as substitutes. I believe Asqudum means to say that the 40 soldiers who were enlisted for the guard of the city were gentlemen who actually served themselves. The translation “gents” for mar awili does not imply that the Akkadian word was used colloquially. It attempts to preserve the etymological connection with awilum “gentleman.” 85. 1-àm bi-ru. Durand considered this translation but preferred the spatial interpretation “for up to one mile distance.” He quotes malak bi-ra “n’ayant que deux heures” in support of it in A.2. Joannès, who follows Durand, “Routes,” 327 n. 9, refers to 3 17, where border guards are said to be on the lookout for up to 5 or 6 miles distant from their posts. 86. pani eberi. Durand, “gués.” The word for “ford” is neberum. I assume that here “face” designates the area leading to the crossings. 87. i-si-ru-si-na-ti-ma. Durand derives the form from eserum II = “to enclose.” It produces an ill fit with ana Íuprum “to Íuprum.” I derive the form from eserum III. 88. The “early lambs” = haripu. Durand shows that this word refers to lambs born in fall, not in spring, as was assumed before.

spread is 12 points long

Text 26 56



lets and scribes to me, and they must muster them ªhereº. And on the pasture their [ ] must ªnotº diminish. [And] the herdboys must ªnot gainº a reason to complain.2 [circa 4 lines]” 1.


They will be mustered for the first time and are, in fact, in their second year of life. See F. R. Kraus, Staatliche Viehhaltung im Altbabylonischen Lande Larsa (Mededelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afd. Letterkunde n.s. 29/5; Amsterdam, 1966), 26. The shepherds may have been concerned because they feared that recently impregnated ewes, who would give birth to “early lambs” in fall, would not carry their offspring to term because of the rigors of the spring drive to Íuprum.

26 56 To [my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant Asqudum (says), “About the garments of first quality that are sealed in ªreed boxesº—the garments will not be readily available in Mari for the wardrobe of my lord. And Daris-Libur urges me (to get them ready). If those 89 garments are to be ªtakenº to Mari for the wardrobe of [my lord], my lord must ªwriteº [me, and I shall choose] individual garments from the reed boxes [and send them] to [my] ªlordº. If not so, [and] (if) those garments are not to be ªtakenº to ªMariº, they will be ªdepositedº in Saggaratum. My lord must write [me], so or not so, [and] I shall pluck them clean. 90 “The day I sent ªthisº tablet of mine ªtoº [my lord], I set hand to closing the breach of (the levee at) Bit Kusaya.”

26 57 Asqudum probably wrote this letter during his tenure as mayor of Hisamta, to which Zimri-Lim appointed him at the beginning of his reign (26 5).

To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “About the woman who is staying by herself in the palace of Hisamta—the matter does not meet the eye. It would be good if 5 women who do wool work 91 were staying with her. Now the woman can pay attention (only) to herself. If it meets the eye of my lord, let them take along that woman, either to Terqa or else to Íuprum, and she need not pay attention (to herself) ªalone likeº a screech-owl.”

26 58 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “My lord must instruct Yantin-Addu, the foreman of fishermen, and he (Yantin-Addu) ªmustº seize 10 small-boats on the right bank and 10 small-boats on the left bank (upstream) from Dir and collect ªfor meº as many boats as there are, be it from the palace, be it from the commoners, ªupº to Mislan. I dispatched Iddin-Ilaba from here to Samanum to collect boats. My lord must take action, 92 and 89. The text has erroneously, su-nu-ti. In the parallel line 18, the correct su-nu is found. 90. lu-na-pí-su-nu-[ti]. Durand translates “j’éclaircisse,” which he derives from the idiom nikkassam nuppußum “to clear an account.” I derive the form from napasum II D, which means “to pluck” wool from a garment. It may mean more generally the process of getting a garment ready to be worn. 91. s í g . h á mahrisa i-pé-sa. Durand derives the form from “epesu II,” for which Landsberger proposed the meaning “to weave a rug.” 92. li-iß-ßí-ri-im-ma. Durand understands it as Gtn of ßaramum, which should be lißßarrim. I emend to li-iß-{zi}-ri-im-ma.


26 60


Text 26 60

I shall do what is necessary for gathering this (year’s) grain for (storage) inside Mari. Otherwise, the days will go by, and ªa showerº will catch the grain.”

26 60 = 2 96 = LAPO 16 8 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I requested a rug 93 from my lord, and they did not give me (one). As of my arrival, I had an informed person 94 conducted to my lord. And now I have had a second informed person conducted. My lord must ask him for news. My lord must employ a secret agent who takes an informed person along.”1 1.

Durand believes that the informed person of this statement was the “second informed person” of the previous statement. Normally, the letter-writers only report about the bringing in of informed persons. If that is the case here too, Asqudum counseled the king to obtain information from a third informed person. The employment of a secret agent for this purpose indicates that it was not an easy task.

26 61 The letter was written a short while before Bannum wrote 26 5 and 26 6 to the king.

[To] my lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Asqudum (says), “[My lord] wrote me ªas followsº: ‘When Bannum has arrived [in] ªMariº, I will go up to the upper ªdistrictº and [then] stay in Terqa. I will offer the ªofferings.’ Thisº my lord wrote me. [n lines] “[n lines] men of ªthe palaceº [ ] for harvesting or else dinners of the king [ ], ªhowever muchº was left over, has been used up as fare for the harvesters.”

26 62 = 2 99 = LAPO 17 735 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I arrived in the district of Hisamta and Terqa, and there were masses of 95 Numha (and) Yamutbal, together with (their) little boys and girls, slaves, maids, oxen, and donkeys. After they use up (their) grain, they will destroy the sedge and reed of the bank of the Euphrates. I saw (it), and ª11 linesº.1 They2 must ªnotº pass [ ] ªfromº Qa††unan. “Further: As of ªmyº arrival, I had a word with the Terqaites as follows: I (said), ‘Spare ªfield areaº, and I shall get plows of the palace ready.’ And they answered me as follows: They (said), ‘Since we (already) are in possession of our parcels, look for, and take land of the palace!’ I checked, and the field-area that is left over is not enough ªforº 2 plows. There is a steady [ ] of my lord to Terqa. [ ] I readied 5 plows in the district of Terqa. It is not pos93. túg mardatum. The meaning “rug” was established by W. Mayer, “Mardatu ‘Teppich,’ ” Ugarit-Forschungen 9 (1977), 173–89. 94. Von Soden, Orientalia 56 (1987), 103–4, pointed out that the word ahizum, since it is an active participle of ahazum, could not literally mean “informer.” Birot, 27 17d, considered the possibility that the word was actually ahizum “individus bien informé.” 95. The Akkadian text uses the idiom “the Numha etc. have no front and gate,” which indicates the unorganized nature of the mass of people and their animals. Durand refers to the parallels collected in CAD babum and remarks that the expression may be typically Syrian.

Text 26 70



sible. ªNowº, when [ ] the rider3 of Terqa and ªthe domesticsº worked (on it), ª6 linesº of that rider [ ]. And I shall give him a gift. I shall sow ªsesameº. I shall give [ ] to the Terqaites. [ ], which are readily available, they will give [ ].”4 1. 2.

3. 4.

Completely restored by Durand. “They” cannot be the masses of Numha and Yamutbal, because the latter have already passed Qa††unan. If there was a massive influx of refugees from the northeast—the people may have fled the Esnunakean advance in ZL 3u (see Durand 26/1, 141)—it is likely that there were refugees in Qa††unan at this time. Given the situation in Terqa, Asqudum does not want a second wave of refugees to advance to the Euphrates. “Rider” (rakibum) was an irrigation canal that was constructed on the upper terrace of the river valley, upon which it “rode.” See LAPO 17, 580–81. The timing of the passage is given in the sentence “I shall sow sesame.” Sesame is a summer fruit and was sown after the grain harvest (H. Waetzoldt, “Ölpflanzen und Pflanzenöle,” Bulletin on Sumerian Agriculture 2 [1985], 77–87). The breaks prevent a clear understanding of the passage. It appears as though the field area that could be planted with sesame was distributed according to fixed shares. The Terqaite commoners had already picked their lots within the irrigated field area and presumably had started cultivation. So Asqudum’s request came too late.

26 70 To Mukannisum speak! Asqudum (says), “Open my locker 96 and send 2 jars of red wine, 7 jars of second-quality wine for the king, and 2 jars of wine of good quality for me with those (the jars) for the king!”

26 71 To Mukannisum speak! Asqudum (says), “Herewith open [my] ªlockerº [and] entrust one ªhelmetº 97 to the hand of the person bringing ªthisº tablet of mine! He must bring (it) to me quickly.” (On the edge of the tablet is written: “About writing the king.”)

26 71-bis = 18 24 = LAPO 16 189 The letter may have been written before the siege of Mislan, in which case 26 168 describes the activities mentioned here from the point of view of the Mislanites.

[To] ªMukannisum speak!º Asqudum (says), “ªThe (very) day thatº a tablet of the king about ªordering a transport ofº pines comes to Itur-Asdu, ªloadº on one boat those pines from among the dry pines ªthatº are with you, (that is) 40 pines of 2 reeds (length) for ladders, 20 pines for kammu, 98 20 pines for leaners, 99 and ªprovide silver for (buying) travel provisionsº 96. É ku-nu-ki-ia. Literally, “the house/room/container of my seal.” 97. The word qurpissum was formerly translated “body-armor.” Durand, LAPO 17, 391, showed that it means “helmet.” 98. Durand, LAPO 16 189, translates “traverses”; in LAPO 17, 298, he defines “traverses” as ladders that were shorter than the ladders called simmiltum. 99. hu-mu-da-ia. Durand believes that these were gangways that allowed access from a siege tower to the crown of a city wall. According to 26 318, such leaners were burned in a fire that brought down a siege tower. They were made of wood and rope (21 141, as read by Birot 27 142,



Text 26 73

for the haulers, and ªthose pieces of wood must arriveº tomorrow. Do not ªneglectº this ªletter of mineº. “ªFurther: Sendº a blade of one pound for the battering ram! The assault is on hold for ª9 daysº.”

26 73 To Iddin-Annu speak! Asqudum (says), “About the 20 (wooden) boards that they kept from you—I ªspokeº to the king, and [he] (said), ‘He may take ªthemº.’ Now [take] those boards! “Further: The ªUrzababa-lyreº of which you spoke ªsome time ago—[you (said), ‘ ] . . . 100 I will ªlookº [at it].’ It is ªurgentº. Do not ªkeepº [it].”

26 74 To Yassi-Dagan speak! Asqudum (says), “I listened to your tablet that you sent ªmeº. You (said), ‘Mislanites approached the king, (saying), “Asqudum is in possession of a field (of ours).” ’ As a dog has no need of gold, I have no need of their fields and of them.1 And you, why do you raise objections ªbefore the kingº about their ªhouseholdsº? You know that their troops are. . . . 101 “Now about the fields of Zarri, concerning which you wrote me—ªÍura-Hammuº is staying with ªthe kingº and talks about whatever is in his heart. Now he received one-ªhalfº of the courtyard of the House of Paintings for cultivation!” 2 1. 2.

Letter 26 76 shows that Asqudum was very much involved in cultivation in Mislan. This is the main courtyard in the palace of Mari. Íura-Hammu was the king of the Awnanean Yamina. His visit to Mari during the 5th month of ZL 4u is well documented in administrative texts; see G. Bardet, 23, 17–21.

26 75 This is a letter from a southern Mesopotamian. Its syrupy introduction is typical of that culture.

[To] Asqudum ªspeakº! Hulalum (says), “May ªSamasº and Marduk keep you alive for a long time! [Among] our ªbrothersº, (as many as) there are, we love each other. [And] there is nobody who loves me as [much] as you do. [And] there is nobody who loves you as much as I do. [ ] ªWhenº this [and] that land saw our mutual respect, you were not changing

comment b). The translation “leaners” is based on a derivation of that word from emedum “to lean.” Sasson, “Mari and the Bible,” 105, and Streck, Amurriter 1, 99, adduce ºammud “pillar” as a possible Hebrew cognate. 100. Birot, in comment c to 27 7, suggests restoring the verb taraßum “to string.” 101. ma-ar-DU. Durand derives the word from Hebrew mrd “to be rebellious,” adding another word to this crowded semantic field. Sasson, “Mari and the Bible,” 108, understands it as “bilingual gamesmanship.” mar†u from mara†u, which AHw. and CAD translate “to scratch,” is also possible. I expect “on edge.” The troops are probably workers.

Text 26 76



(your behavior) toward me, and there was no insult [for] ªmeº. So it is. 102 Samas [and] ªDaganº have greatly called your name, and they ªcalledº [ ]. Your communication is good. [ ] like the numerous sheep [ ] 3 hundred sheep [n lines] ª8 linesº. I have [not] sent you [ ] with your (pl.) messenger. [This] ªyearº usummu 103 are ªveryº expensive. ªAboutº the 9 pounds of tin that I sent you—ªMardukº, who will keep you alive for a long time, ªindeedº knows that that tin is not mine. ªThatº [tin] belongs to a diviner from among my acquaintances. They (my acquaintances?) will proceed [on] a trip to Elam. At the time tin is expensive ªin Babylonº. I sent you [the n] ªpoundsº of good ªtinº for one pound of ªsilver º with the boys [ ] 2 [days] nothing [ ].”

26 76 Letter from the majordomo of Dur-Yahdun-Lim about the placement of plow oxen. A “plow” was the basic agricultural work unit for the holdings of the palace. It consisted of some 7 to 12 plow oxen (24 13) and 15 workers (27 1). The area worked by one plow varied widely. One thousand dikes in Qa††unan correspond to 7 plows in 27 37. The most essential work of the plow teams was “seeding,” which included the preparation of a field for seeding and the seeding itself by means of a funnel that was attached to the plow and allowed for insertion of the seed into the furrow at a steady rate.

To Asqudum speak! Your son Enlil-Ipus (says), “When you assigned us the assignments of the cultivators in Mislan, you instructed us on the work quota of the plows as follows: You (said), ‘1 plow must seed 70 dikes of field-area.’ And on the same day you spoke to us as follows: You (said), ‘I placed the matter of the work quota of the plows before the king, and the king became enraged, (saying), “How? One plow seeds 70 dikes of field-area? They must seed 1 hundred dikes of field-area.” ’ Now, since (the time) that I ªdepartedº from before you, the city gate of Dur-Yahdun-Lim has been sealed all the time. It never opens. And the seeder oxen are idle. Now, until things calm down in the district of Dur-Yahdun-Lim (and the oxen can go out to work), write me, and I shall dispatch the oxen and the cultivators to a place where there is inundated 104 land, to Terqa or else to Hisamta. Let them seed there. The oxen must not be idle. I hope you will not speak later ªas followsº: ‘The oxen of your plows are idle. Why did you not inform me?’ ”

26 77 There are unorthographic spellings, ungrammatical verbal forms, and wrong words in this letter.

102. kima-ma. Durand understands the phrase as introducing the following sentence and translates “tout comme” according to Old Assyrian use. 103. Landsberger suggested the translation “dormouse” for usummu. In RLA, Maus §4.3a– b, I noted that this northern forest animal cannot be expected in Mesopotamia; further, that Babylonian usummu corresponds to Assyrian akbaru. For the latter, Landsberger suggested the jerboa, which also does not exist in the floodplains and delta of the Tigris and Euphrates. R. Englund, “There Is a Rat in My Soup,” AoF 22 (1995), 37–55, suggested identification with the Indian bandicoot rat. For the time being, the only information with promise for the question of identity is the connection with the canebrake, presumably its habitat. 104. Durand reads ra-†à-ab-tum and refers to ra†ibtum. I read ra-hi-ìß-tum. The implication in both cases is that the soil being prepared for seeding has to be soaked first.



Text 26 78

To Asqudum speak! Your servant Bali-Addu (says), “ªYou sentº me 105 a tablet about Sarrum-Nur-Matisu. Now, as of hearing the tablet and dispatching the man to you, 106 I put that man in prison.1 Now that man must not die. A tablet of the king must come and that man must go (to) you. 107 Let him place before you the words, however many I have communicated to him.”2 1.


The word neparum is supposed to be quite unlike a modern prison and instead a place where debtors and criminals worked under guard. Accordingly, it is translated into French as “ergastule.” See M.-F. Scouflaire, “Premières réflexions sur l’organisation des ‘prisons’ dans le royaume de Mari,” Mélanges Finet (1989), 157–60. There can be no doubt about the existence of correctional facilities of dungeon character in contemporary southern Mesopotamia that earn the translation “prison” (see M. Civil, “On Mesopotamian Jails and Their Lady Warden,” in The Tablet and the Scroll [ed. M. Cohen et al.; Bethesda, 1993], 72–78). The neparum in Mari was a fearful place, where inmates died of starvation and disease (A.1401 [Joannès, “Nouveaux mémorandums,” Mélanges Birot, 101], 26 264). It was also an important aspect of palace administration, as shown by the occasional inclusion of prisons in confirmations of well-being in letterheads (for example 26 105) and the fact that extispicies were performed about their well-being (for example 26 152). The extent of their role within the system of governmental enforcement has not yet been discussed. A prison escape is mentioned in 10 150, an uprising in 26 524. The text has “you.”

26 78 To Asqudum speak! Sadu-[ ] who loves you (says), “Some time ago, you wrote [me] as follows: ‘For what [are you] my ªfriendº [that] you did not [write] to me?’ What shall I write [you]? You never sent [your] ªboyº [to me]. Perhaps you have no needs. About [my] needs— ˇab-Wasabsu, [my boy], has learned the. . . . 108 I am well. May my ªfriend be wellº!”

26 80 See 26 464.

To ªAsqudum speakº! [Your ] ªBunuma-Adduº (says), “When I was detained in ªKurdaº, you kept writing on my ªbehalfº. Your ªgreatº favor [ ]. ªNowº [they] released [me]. [circa 6 lines] ªNowº return the favor to ªthe godº [and Samas] and bring ª 109º out from prison! ªSendº [them]! Perhaps upon their arrival they will release my people from ªthe palaceº.” 105. tusebilanni instead of normal tusebilam. It is interesting to note that the tendency to replace datives with accusatives is also common in English. 106. kima †uppim samêm u ana ßerika l ú . m e s †aradim. Durand translates “à l’audition de la tablette et afin d’envoyer l’individu chez toi.” But why would Bali-Addu put Sarrum-Nur-Matisu in jail if he wanted to dispatch him to Asqudum? I guess the scribe wanted to say that Bali-Addu was about to dispatch Sarrum-Nur-Matisu when the order to incarcerate him arrived. 107. The dative is again replaced by the accusative. 108. te-pi -it. Durand interprets this as †e4-wi-it “la façon de tisser.” 109. Durand reads sa ªéº-[ti-ia] and translates “ceux de ma maisonnée.” But why would Bunuma-Addu want to exchange members of his household for his people. I expect that Bunuma-Addu asked Asqudum to release imprisoned Kurdaites in exchange for his people.

Text 26 81



26 81 ªTo myº lord speak! ªYour servantº Asqudum (says), “An eclipse of Sin (the moon) occurred on the 14th ªdayº. And the occurrence of ªthatº eclipse bodes ill. 110 I made ªextispiciesº for the well-being of my lord and for ªthe well-beingº of the upper district, and ªthe extispiciesº were sound. Now my lord [must] ªhave (extispicies) done there forº [his] wellbeing and the well-being of the city of Mari, and ªthe heartº of my lord need not ªbe concernedº. [And] my lord must send [me] a response to ªmyº tablet, [and my heart] will ªcalmº!”

26 82 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “Yasim-Dagan had a dream before his eyes. ªThe dreamº is serious and is raising concern. I had an ªextispicy ofº his dream done, and his ªdream wasº (in fact) before his eyes.1 [ ], and must make [ ]. And my lord must give ªstrict ordersº to guard the strongholds.” 1.

For a dream that was not “before the eyes,” see 26 142.

26 83 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “ªAccordingº to the letter of ªmy lordº, I made extispicies for Sattam-Kiazi.1 The extispicies that I made indicate the hand of Estar Radan of Ekallatum. The goddess urges 111 her about her trip to Ekallatum. Unless she goes to Ekallatum, her illness will not go out (from her).” 1.

Sattam-Kiazi had requested permission to bring an offering to Estar Radan of Ekallatum in order to cure her illness, which was suspected of being caused by the hand of the goddess (10 87). The king asked Asqudum to verify the cause of her illness, and the present letter is Asqudum’s reply.

26 84 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “The son of Binum ª 112º. And they ªwroteº me from the fortress [of my] lord,1 and at first I made [extispicies2] for the ªwell-beingº [ ], and ªthe extispiciesº . And I made (extispicies) for (verifying the presence of) the hand of a god, and it indicated a vow to Sin. Did my lord perhaps give his word to Sin? (The sign of) [my] ªlord is presentº (in the extispicy). 113 Or else, the king (Samsi-Adad) ªmade a vowº to Sin. ªNowº my lord must write me so [or not] ªsoº. I will not write ªto the kingº until ªa tabletº of my lord has arrived.” 1.

That is, Dur-Yasmah-Addu “Fortress of Yasmah-Addu,” as Dur Yahdun-Lim was called during the reign of Yasmah-Addu.

110. maruß. Literally, “is painful.” Durand translates “est un fait désagréable.” 111. ú-da-aB-si. Durand derives the form from daªapu and translates “fait pression sur elle.” I assume scribal error: ú-da-ab-si. 112. Durand restores im-[hu-ra-ni] “est venu me trouver.” He considers and rejects im-[ra-aß] “he fell ill.” Another possibility is im-[tu-ut] “he has died.” The son of Binum belonged to high society. See Sasson, NABU 1993 52. 113. [it]-ta-za-az. My translation follows Durand’s comment f.

210 2.


Text 26 85

This restoration was proposed by Sasson, NABU 1993 52 n. 2.

26 85 To my lord speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I kept vomiting gall during the illness with which I was afflicted, but I have ªrecoveredº. And [my] lord ªgave strict orders aboutº not traveling. ªA liver omen was placedº in the offering of ªa commonerº.” (The remainder of the text is partly preserved and widely restored by Durand.)

26 86 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “According to the instruction of my lord (I waited until) the month cleared,1 and [I] ªwentº to Halabit and ªmadeº extispicies in ªHalabitº for a month of 30 .2 The extispicies were bad, not sound. The pasture-chiefs3 are in Tuttul before my lord. My lord must give them strict instructions, and they must not neglect (supervision of) their scouts. Their sheep are widely dispersed. They herd from above Halabit to Surman. And they are negligent.” 1. 2. 3.

Durand, 26/1, 36 n. 154, shows that the expression refers to the time when the possibility of an eclipse had passed. Mesopotamian calendars had lunar months, which are 29 or 30 days long. Looking to the future, the ancients always reckoned with months of 30 days. See §5. It is remarkable that a plurality of pasture-chiefs was found in one place. Under the administration of Zimri-Lim, there seem to have been only two acting pasture-chiefs at one time. One, IbalEl or Ibal-Pi-El serving in the north; another, Meptum, in the south.

26 87 = 2 97 = LAPO 18 945 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Asqudum (says), “I made extispicies for the well-being of the messengers, and they were bad. I will make (extispicies) for them again, and ªwhenº the extispicies have come out sound, I will dispatch them. “Further: About ªscoutsº of the district of Iksud-Appasu and Habduma-Dagan—no scouts whatsoever are in place. And my lord knows how many dispossessions 114 keep appearing in the offerings of my lord. The (supervision of) scouts is being neglected. And the extispicies made ªforº the well-being of their district are ªbadº.”

26 88 = 5 65 = LAPO 18 950 Oppenheim, Letters, 99–100.

[To] ªmyº lord] Yasmah-Addu ªspeakº! Your servant Asqudum (says), “As of my arrival in Terqa, Tarim-Sakim arrived, and I asked him the following: I (said), “Did Zunan perform extispicies for the well-being of the land and the strong cities?’1 He answered me as follows: 114. nekemetum. Durand understands the word on the basis of J. Nougayrol, JCS 21 (1967), 222 n. 26, as part of the configuration of the intestines and translates “organes atrophiés”; the term designates an event foretold by hepatoscopy in 26 3 and a sign found on the liver that indicates dispossession in 26 152. The latter meaning fits here too.

Text 26 90



‘He did not make (them).’ I returned with him to Saggaratum at the clearing of this month,2 and I made extispicies for the well-being of the city of Saggaratum for 6 months, and the extispicies were sound. And prior to my (departure) I will make (extispicies) for 115 the fortress of my lord, Terqa, Íuprum, and Mari, and I will promptly ªwriteº a full report to my lord. [And] in Saggaratum [ made] (extispicies) ªforº the offering of the month [and] ªforº the offering of my lord, and I saw ªthe extispicyº, and the left of the finger was ªnotchedº,3 the middle finger of the lung approached the right (finger): an omen of fame. May my lord be happy!” 1. 2. 3.

Named “strong cities” are Mari, Terqa, and Saggaratum (26 235); Mislan at the time of the Yamina rebellion (26 171); Babylon (26 364). See comment 1 to 26 86. This is what the diviner wishes to see, according to Yale Oriental Series—Babylonian Texts 11 23: 58 (Starr, 32). The translation “notched” follows Leiderer, 71.

26 90–167 are letters by and about other diviners and their namesakes. Letters 26 90–94 are from persons called Apil-Ilisu, which is a very common name. The letters were written maximally by four persons, which seems to me the most likely solution. Durand, 26/1, 232–33, referring to the example of Asqudum, whom he characterizes as diviner-turned-administrator, discusses the possibility of a oneperson solution. Letters 90 and 91 were written by one and the same person because they refer to the same episode; 91 was written when Hadanum was at large; 90 after he had been apprehended; 92 was written by a diviner; 94 by a cultivator.

bout Other

26 90 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Apil-Ilisu (says), “Herewith I have Hadanum conducted to my lord. May my lord be happy!”

26 91 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Apil-Ilisu (says), “About Adanum, the brewer of Laªum, Sammetar spoke to Ilum-Asu as follows: “He has ªfledº.” 116 [And] IlumAsu gave ªstrict ordersº to ªthe butlerº [n lines] to Mari [ ] to Subat-Enlil. [ ] These things about removing them are at the instigation of Iksud-Appasu. “And further: About the message of the large tablet that I sent my lord—my lord must quickly send me a response to my tablet.”

115. The text has “in.” Since Asqudum could not perform extispicies in the cities mentioned while staying in Saggaratum, I correct i-na “in” to a-na “for.” 116. Durand reads it-[ta-ª]ì-id and translates “c’est un homme consciencieux.” I read it-[ta-b]i-it.



Text 26 92

26 92 [To my] lord (Yasmah-Addu) ªspeakº! [Your servant] ªApil-Ilisu (says), “[I have] ªobtainedº the offeringº that [my] lord ªoffered andº whose extispicies he sent, and [the god] accepted the offering of my lord. I saw ªthe extispiciesº, and a stone [was in place] in the right lung [in the first] ªramº. [ ] was in place in the area of the caretaker [and] gravel 117 in the area of the shepherd [in] ªthe secondº ram. The area of the finger was broken, [ ] was surrounded, [ ] was notched ªinº the third ram. ªThe extispiciesº of the offering of my lord are [not1] ªdangerousº; they are sound. [ ] Ninua ª5 linesº.” 1.

I follow Durand’s restoration. Anbar’s restorations in NABU 1998 3 are unparalleled.

26 93 To my lord speak! Your servant Apil-Ilisu (says), “I said to my lord that Ibal-Pi-El detained me. I (said), ‘Ibal-Pi-El ªdetainsº [me].’1 Will my lord ªnot releaseº me? What will I do here? He tempts me with the office of majordomo of his house. My lord ªmustº write Ibal-PiEl. I wish to depart for my lord.” 1.

This is an instructive example for the existence of direct and indirect speech in Akkadian writing of the time. Normally direct speech was preferred. Indirect speech gained a foothold with dependent sentences introduced by “that” (kima). Here, the scribe, wanting to be clear, used both possibilities.

26 94 To Erib-Sin speak! Apil-Ilisu (says), “You wrote me about a report on the field that I sowed. I have sowed 20 dikes of field-area. The seed is used up. Send 1 hundred liters of sesame, and I shall have the field finished up. Do not say, ‘You did not write me.’ Herewith I send you (this) tablet. The field will lose its moisture. Do not be negligent!”

26 95–100-bis are reports by the diviner Erib-Sin, who accompanied Mariote troops, probably the contingent of Hana led by Bahdi-Addu, on their march to Babylon in mid–ZL 9u (95 and 97 through 100-bis). According to 96, he was still, or again, with Mariote troops in Babylonia in V 13. Charpin rearranged the reports of the march through Suhum in “Sapiratum,” 351–52, and determined their original sequence to be 95, 97, 99, 98, and 100. See §34 and, for 96, §74.

26 95 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Erib-Sin (says), “A boy of Menihum arrived from Meptum, (saying), ‘The troops must cross to Sa Hiddan.’ Now 60 troops ªcrossed toº Sa Hiddan. [This my lord] must know.”

117. See Leiderer, 146.

Text 26 96 = Dossin



26 96 = Dossin (copy) and J. Nougayrol, “Rapports,” 227–29 To my lord speak! Your servant ªErib-Sinº (says), “The troops of my lord are well. After the second day of the month of Hibirtum (V), I made extispicies for the well-being of the troops (for a period) of a month of 30 days and 30 nights, and in my first set the lookout was in place. The path was in place. The palace gate was sound. The cleft was in place. ªThe two bases of the shepherdº were attached right and left. The finger was sound. The outgrowth was a (male) battle ax. 118 Lung and heart [were] ªsoundº. My upper parts were sound. “In my verification the outlook was in place. The path descended toward the seat of the left. The palace gate was sound. The cleft was in place. The two bases of the shepherd were pulled out on the right and attached on the left. On the left, he1 broke the finger. The outgrowth was a (female) battle ax. Lung, heart, and my upper parts were sound. My extispicies were sound for their days. “Further: They did not call me in with the diviners of Hammu-Rabi, and so I did not make an extispicy with them and so cannot write a report on their ªactionsº to my [lord].”2 1. 2.

“He” is the god who forms the liver. See the introduction to texts 1–190. The king had asked Erib-Sin to conduct extispicies with his colleagues from Babylon (27 161).

26 97 To my lord speak! Your servant ªErib-Sinº (says), “Prior to my leaving, my lord instructed me as follows: ‘Go to Hanat and perform extispicies in Hanat and (then) let the troops go to Sapiratum!’ ªAsº my lord instructed me, [I made] ªextispicies for Sapiratumº 119 [n lines] ªwroteº me. He (said), ‘Until [ ] to you, the troops must stay in ªHanatº.’ Now the troops are staying in Hanat. “Further: The day the troops arrived in Hanat, (it turned out that) 50 Hana quit since (passing) Hurban. They (said), ‘We have no travel provisions.’ And Yakun-Arari 120 spoke to them as follows: He (said), ‘I shall [ ] grain for [ ]. I shall [ ].’ ªThisº he said ªtoº [them. They] did not [ , and] ªthey departedº.”

26 98 To [my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant ªErib-Sinº (says), “The troops are well. I made extispicies for the well-being of the 2 hundred [troops] who are going with Meptum (for the 118. magsar. In the description of the verification, the text has magsarat. Nougayrol notes that the grammatical gender of ßibtum vacillates between masculine and feminine. This leads him to assume that magsarum is a verbal adjective “d’un type inédit” (JCS 21 [1967], 229 n. 62). The other references (quoted in Starr, 84) clearly show that the word was used as noun and that magsaru was, like “weapon,” a mark on the liver. In CT 20 39:20 magsarum it is explained as a “weapon of Samas.” AHw. suggests that it was a battle ax. The existence of the feminine byform magsartum is not unparalleled. Note that mapras and maprast forms may be used to designate the same thing—as, for example, the pair mayyalum mayyaltum. Yet the occurrence of both forms in the same text indicates a difference. Perhaps the diviners distinguished particular appearances of the battle ax with the two forms. Durand translates “chose énorme.” 119. Read according to Charpin (and Guichard) in “Sapiratum,” 351 n. 33. 120. He is probably the division commander who is listed as Yakun-Arru in 23 596 I 23u.



Text 26 99

route) from ªYabliyaº to Qaßa for 15 days, and my extispicies were sound. The intestines were bloated in my verification. Dada [made extispicies] for the well-being of 2 hundred ªtroopsº1 for [n lines]. [In] his ªverification the stomachº was bruised (to look) like a . . . 121 on the right. I baked those extispicies2 and sealed them in a box and sent (it) to my lord.” 1. 2.

This should be a different group of soldiers. There would have been no reason to duplicate the sound extispicies of Erib-Sin. See the introduction to 26 1–190.

26 99 To my lord speak! Your servant Erib-Sin (says), “Asqudum1 instructed me as follows: He (said), ‘Have ªextispiciesº done for 5 days for the well-being of [ ]!’ I arrived [in]. . . . 122 [And I made the extispicies for] ªthe well-beingº of the city for 5 days. ªMy extispiciesº [circa 9 lines].” 1.

This cannot be the diviner, because he died before this letter was written. See Durand, 26/1, 77– 78. I believe that the present Asqudum was the servant of Meptum. See the comment to 26 8.

26 100 To my lord speak! Your [servant] Erib-Sin (says), “[n lines]. This I ªsaid to himº, and he (said), ‘You stay over here a month of 30 days.’ I (said), ‘I fear my lord. I will not stay.’ This I said to him. ªWithoutº his . . . 123 [I ] my donkey, [and] I ªwanderedº [ ] half a mile [ ].”

26 100-bis = J. Nougayrol, “Rapports,” 229–32 To my lord speak! Your servant Erib-Sin (says), “The troops of my lord are well. About the issue of securing the well-being of ªthe troops on whichº my lord instructed me: [I made (extispicies) with] a white ram in the city of Halhala ªbelow Sippirº, [and] I made extispicies for the well-being of the troops, and in my ªfirstº set the outlook was in place. ªThe pathº [ ]. The seat of the left was notched in two places. The palace gate [ ]. The mystery was in place. A weapon was in place in the locality of the cleft, and it ªwas looking atº the duct of the shepherd. The two bases of the shepherd were torn off 124 at the duct and attached at the top. On the left they were not firm. The shepherd had dropped in the stronghold of the left.1 On the left there was a notch. 125 The strike of the face of the enemy was in place. The ªdropº [of the chair] was folded. The finger was [ ] to the palace. The lungs [9 lines, con121. hudussum. AHw. “eine Altersklasse?”; the word is attested as the governing noun of meseru “belt.” Durand proposes identification with hudus[tu], which designates a frog made of lapis-lazuli. An ominous hudussum on a stomach is also mentioned in 26 109. 122. The last sign with which the place-name is written is [ti]m, according to Durand’s transliteration. 123. ta-li-su. Durand derives the word from talalum and suggests the translation “son aide.” 124. Durand reads pa-ar-d[a] and translates “inquiétantes.” See 26 155f. I expect a term describing the liver and read pa-ar-†[á]. 125. pi†rum. Durand translates “fente”; Leiderer, “Einkerbung.” The pi†rum is typically found on the gall bladder.

Text 26 101



taining the end of the first set and the beginning of the verification] on the left of the shepherd [ ] the drop of the chair [ ] a cleft of the outgrowth was in place. The ªlungº [ ]. upper parts were sound. [My] ªextispiciesº [were sound]. I turned around and made a second round as follows: ‘If [the troops], whom he dispatched to Hammu-Rabi, (arrive), will Hammu-Rabi not catch, not kill, not cause to kill, not detain for evil or peaceful intentions ªthoseº troops? Will those who went out through the gate of Mari alive enter the gate of Mari alive?’ I made the extispicies, and in my first set the outlook was in place. The path was in place. The palace gate was sound. The mystery was in place. The cleft was looking toward [ ] of the palette. The two bases of the shepherd were ªattachedº on the right [and on the left]. The strike of the face of the enemy was in place. [ ] The left of the finger was broken. The outgrowth [was ]. My upper parts were ªsoundº. [ ] In my verification [the outlook ]. The path was ªsoundº. [ ]. The seat of the ªleftº [ ]. The palace gate [ . The two bases of the shepherd] were torn on the right [and on the left]. On the left of [ ] was elongated. The strike of the face of the enemy [ ]. The drop of ªthe chairº was in place. The finger was sound. The outgrowth had collapsed. The lungs were sound. The heart was sound. My upper parts were sound. My extispicies were sound. [ ] of my lord to his troops [ ].” 1.

Leiderer, Abb. 51, illustrates a gall bladder that might be described as “dropped.”

26 101–7. Hali-Hadun of 101–4 and 107 is a diviner; Hali-Hadun of 105 and 106 a commander of the guard of the city gate of Mari.

26 101 To [our] lord [speak]! ªYourº servants] ªHali-Hadunº and Ilsu-Naßir (say), “We listened to the tablet that our lord sent us and paid close attention to the text of the tablet of our lord. We presented that tablet to Ibal-Pi-El and spoke to him as follows: We (said), ‘Once you do not give us lambs, we cannot make the monthly extispicies for the well-being of the troops. Now, what shall we write to the king for consolation?’ These things we told him, and he did not listen to us. But we will not neglect the well-being of the troops. We will do what is necessary for the well-being of the troops of our lord. Our lord must write Ibal-Pi-El, and they must give us lambs, and we shall write ªmonthlyº (about) the well-being of the troops ªtoº our ªlordº. [6 lines] Ibal-Pi-El turned us away. We are not present in his private council.1 We do not enter the palace with him. He has forgotten about us, and we are being turned away from (our) seat (at the royal table) like some division commander. My lord must assign (us) our duty 126 and send a tablet to him (Ibal-Pi-El). He (Ibal-Pi-El) must not turn us away.” 1.

Durand notes that the private council of Hammu-Rabi of Babylon must be meant. The third person of the preceding and succeeding statements is Ibal-Pi-El, creating the impression that Ibal-PiEl had a private council of his own. It is not documented elsewhere.

126. isiktani lisikam. Durand, “doit nous fixer ce qu’il nous revient de faire.” See also 26/1, 13 n. 35. The haruspices have their assignments already. They wanted the king to spell out their privileges to Ibal-Pi-El, possibly in the form of a reassignment.



Text 26 102

26 102 A comparison of this letter with 26 103 shows that 26 102 was sent by Hali-Hadun and Inib-Samas to Zimri-Lim.

“[n lines] ªweº devised [extispicies for] the well-being of Situllum, Assur, 127 Andarig, Kurda, and the banks of the Euphrates and for the nonseizure [of ] 128 Subat-Enlil with the diviners of Hammu-Rabi, and our extispicies were sound. When we were ªmakingº the extispicies, one diviner of ªHammu-Rabiº was making one round with me. And one diviner was making the second round with Inib-Samas. And we were comparing our rounds. On the ªsecondº day, Inib-Samas made it for ªSitullumº and Assur. And I made it for ªSubat-Enlilº and the bank of ªthe Euphratesº. We presented our extispicies ªbefore Hammu-Rabiº, and the diviners, [his] servants, would not make their statements. And his face was turned toward us. He (said), ‘Speak!’ We answered him as follows: We (said), ‘Let your servants, the diviners, our great brothers speak.’ They rose and (said), ‘You speak!’ Since they were unwilling, we spoke as follows: We (said), ‘All the cities for which we made extispicies ª 129º. The enemy will not reach Subat-Enlil. Zimri-Lim will seize that city of Subat-Enlil. ªThe enemyº [n lines].’ ”

26 103 To [my] lord speak! Your servant ªIbal-Pi-Elº (says), “Hammu-Rabi sent ªHali-Hadun] and Inib-Samas, the servants of my lord, to [his diviners], and they, ªwithº his own, devised ªextispiciesº for the well-being of the bank of ªthe Euphrates, Kurda, Andarigº, [Situllum], Ekallatum, Assur, ª4 linesº [7 lines] we ªdevisedº [ , and we] (said), ‘Without ªclodº [ ]. And he1 answered [us/me] as follows: He (said), “This is ªhowº [we do] our round. We have ªextispiciesº made without clod.”2 This [he] ªsaidº [to us].’ This Hali-Hadun and Inib-Samas said to me. I had extispicies done for the well-being of the troops of my lord and [ ] until the end of ªthisº month, and the extispicies [were sound, and] the troops may move from [their] position 2 double-hours, 3 double-hours ªdistanceº, up or else down, and they will be ªwellº.”3 1. 2. 3.

“He” must be one of the diviners from Babylon. The Mariotes used clods of soil to identify the city for which an extispicy was made to the divine agency answering the oracular question. See 26 153. Durand understands the statement about the troop movement as a quotation of the oracular question and translates it as an interrogative sentence. I understand it as a result of the extispicy.

26 104 In 26/2, 156, Charpin discusses the historical situation of this and related letters and suggests that the events reported in it may have constituted a factor in the final conflict between Babylon and Mari and

127. an.a.mùski. For the spelling here and in 26 103, see Guichard, NABU 1995 81. 128. a-na la ßa-ba-t[im sa]. Durand reads La-za-ba-t[imki ù]. Lazab/pat is a settlement in the vicinity of Subat-Enlil. The destruction of its fortifications is reported in 27 170. Both interpretations seem possible. My preference is based on the presence of the second “and.” Furthermore, Lazab/pat is not in the same league as the other cities. 129. Durand reads ni-p[u-s]u-x?. Instead of -x?, sa-al-ma “will be well” is expected.

Text 26 105



should be dated to ZL 12u. Isar-Lim, Mutu-Hadqim, and Rim-Addu were Hammu-Rabi’s influential counselors already by ZL 9u, when 2 23 was written (see my note, NABU 2000 35). So 26 104 may have been written as early as that date.

To my lord speak! Your servant Ibal-Pi-El (says), “Isar-Lim, Mutu-Hadqim and RimAddu, servants of Isme-Dagan, pushed aside the locals and turned into members of the private council of Hammu-Rabi. 130 He (Hammu-Rabi) does not go beyond (word of) their mouth. When Hali-Hadun and Inib-Samas made extispicies, ªonce, twiceº, and when they ª 131º the extispicies, Isar-Lim, Mutu-Hadqim, and Rim-Addu were not stepping aside. They remained standing and were listening to the text of the extispicies. Besides the secret of a diviner, what other secret is there? After all, his (Hammu-Rabi’s) own servants do not hear the secret of a diviner. And they (Isar-Lim etc.) hear (it)? Besides [15 lines] wholeheartedly with my lord [ ]. Those men and Isme-Dagan ªplaced ungoodº words ªbetween HammuRabiº and [my lord]. I thought [in] my ªheartº about the ªmattersº that I ªsawº and ªwroteº my lord. My lord must listen to this tablet of mine, [and] my lord must be aware of this matter in his heart for whenever (it might become an issue)!”

26 105 [To] our [lord speak]! Your servants ªHali-Hadunº and Kaªalan (say), “The city of Mari, the houses of the gods, the palace and the prisons are ªwellº. “Further: The day [we] sent this tablet to our lord, the Babylonian messenger Mannanum and his Qa†anean companion, ªwhoº passed (on the way) to Babylon, rented a boat and loaded 30 jars of wine and 10 boards of boxwood, their visitation gift, and both of them ªtogetherº pushed off their ªboatº.”

26 106 = Guichard, “Présages,” 321–23 To [our] ªlord speakº! Your servants Hali-Hadun and Kaªalan (say), “For the city of Mari, the palace, the houses of the gods, the prisons and our guards, all is well. “Two lions crouched at the . . . 132 of Abullatum [in] the early part of the night. The ªcultivatorsº of Abullatum [and] troops from here and there ªassembledº, 133 but they [could 130. “Locals” translates belu matim, literally, “lords of the land”; and “members of the private council” translates belu piristim, literally, “lords of the private council.” When belum serves as governing noun for genitive constructions, it has the usual meaning “lord,” as in bel bitim “lord of a house(hold),” or it designates a variety of relationships between a person and a matter. For example, bel arnim “lord of crime” = criminal; bel lemuttim “lord of evil” = adversary; bel bilatim “lord of taxes” = taxpayer; bel marßatim “lord of painful things” = victim (see n. 614 to 26 434). Durand uses the first alternative for his translation “Seigneurs du Pays” and “Seigneurs du conseil”; I use the second. 131. Durand, ú-[te-r]u-ú “rapportèrent.” 132. kutlum. CAD “fence”; AHw. “etwa Seitenwand.” Note that kutlum is close to kutallum = a - g a = porch. For the latter, see my article “The Gates of Eninnu,” JCS 48 (1996), 18. Probably kutlum designates a feature of the outside of the wall close to the city gate. kutlatum in 27 116 is the plural form. There it designates a feature outside “central Qa††unan.” Durand translates it “Les Haies.” 133. Durand restores [iß-ßu-r]u-ma “montait la garde.” I restore [ip-hu-r]u.



Text 26 107

not] chase them off. We dispatched [ ]. These ªHanaº killed [1 lion. And 1] ªlionº was chased off. [Now], herewith we dispatch Zikri-Lim [of the division of ] Napsi-Pi-El, who killed that lion, to our lord.”1 1.

Zikri-Lim was dispatched to collect his reward from the king. Letter 25 143 = Guichard, “Présages,” 326, registers the expenditure of a silver ring for another Hana “who killed a lion.”

26 107 ªTo Daris-Libur speak! Your sister Zunana (says), “Ifº you are [truly] my brother and love me, [ ] about [the fact that no] food rations ªwere receivedº. 3 tracts of [grain . . . n lines] The diviner Hali-Hadun made an opening into his field for catching fish, 134 (saying), ‘The king directed me.’ Now that field has been closed for some time. “If you are really my brother and love me, they must not take advantage of my boys.” Because the central part is missing, it is not easy to make sense of the letter as a whole. Perhaps Zunana complained of loss of grain on her field because Hali-Hadun took her allotment of irrigation water when he flooded his field in order to capture fish.

26 108 and 108-bis are letters by the diviner Ibal-Pi-El from the time of YasmahAddu.

26 108 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ibal-Pi-El (says), “ª4 linesº.1 I am well. I ªstroveº to protect myself in a boat. The god of my lord may protect me! As my lord wrote me, I protect myself. I have established a great name for my lord through the message of divination.” 1.

The lines express the good wishes of the writer. They are restored by Durand.

26 108-bis [To my lord (Yasmah-Addu)] ªspeakº! Your servant Ibal-Pi-El (says), “Prior to my leaving, 135 [I spoke] to my lord about retaining ªApil-Ilisu as followsº: I (said), ‘Since the trip of my lord [ ], Apil-Ilisu must [ ].’ My ªlord answeredº [me] as follows: ‘Who will be with me?’ I (said), ‘Sin-Remenni is staying in Kahat. Let him attend to my lord!’ As my lord entered ª4 linesº. I saw [ ], and I have dispatched the physician Hab[ ] to him (SinRemenni) yesterday, (saying), ‘My donkeys were not readily available.’ ªNowº he (SinRemenni) departed. [Let] him attend to my lord! And if there is an omen . . . , 136 as my lord wrote me (there might be), my lord must send me (it), and I shall ªseeº.”

134. as-sum k u 6.há bá-ri. For PA = bá, see Durand, “Trois études,” 175. 135. i-na pa-ni wa-ªßi-timº may be a conflation of the formulas ina panitim “some time ago” and ina pani waßiya “prior to my leaving.” Or -tim is simply error for -ia. 136. ú ba ru um. Durand translates “ou un devin.” The sign ù is used one line earlier for u “and.” u “and” and u “or” were not usually differentiated in writing.

Text 26 109



I am unable to give a meaningful translation for this letter. An overall interpretation is given by Durand in 26/1, 34. I suspect that Ibal-Pi-El bungled the assignment of providing a diviner who would accompany the king on a trip/campaign and that he used a number of excuses to cover it up.

26 109 To Samas-In-Matim speak! Your son Ibbi-Amurru (says), “In the extispicy of an offering of a commoner, the heart the lung were bruised left and right, and inside the heart the walls came near the top of the heart, and it (the heart) was bruised with a dark spot like a hudussum.1 Herewith I have sent you those extispicies. Pay close attention to them!” 1.

A hudussum on a stomach is mentioned in 26 98.

26 110 [To my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant ªInib-Samasº (says), “My extispicies, which were for the well-being of the city of Nasir, were ªsoundº. I made (them) for 20 days, 30 days,1 and they were sound. My lord must pay attention to them. I ªalertedº Ibal-pi-El about the guard of the wall. [ ] I made them [for the well-being] of ªMulhanº [and] ªNasirº,2 and [ ] a voice [ ] for 30 days [7 lines]. “ 1.


Normally a definite period of validity is given, most often a month of 30 days. Durand translates “pour 20 (et) 30 jours.” Two sets of extispicies, one for 20 days, and another for the following 30 days, are without parallel and seem illogical. Mari diction was fond of describing estimates by giving a range of ascending numbers: “about once, twice, ten times” (26 316), and so on. Inib-Samas may have formulated the period of validity of his oracular query in this manner. No harm was done because the validity of 30 days included that of 20 days. Nasir was apparently located in the vicinity of Mulhan. It was the central place (rebitum) of the clans of Suhum (Charpin, NABU 1991 112), which agrees with the central geographical location of the area of Mulhan within Suhum. Charpin assumes that it was identical with Nasir (23 590), more commonly spelled Nisir, in the district of Mari.

26 111 = 2 139 = LAPO 18 960 To my lord speak! Your servant Mukannisum (says), “About the message of Addu on which my lord instructed me—I dug out 137 the message on which my lord instructed me for the diviners Inib-Samas and Ilsu-Naßir, and they treated 4 lambs, and I sent ªtheirº extispicies to my lord. My lord must write me a full report.1 “Herewith I have dispatched 6 silver-plated bronze knives to my lord, 3 large axes, 1 ax of 1 1/2 pounds, 1 large agasilikku ax, [n] piercers 138 of one pound, [n] engraving tools of 10 shekels, [1] drawing tool of bronze, [n] bronze pegs of 5 pounds, their ªweightº being 21 1/3 pounds of bronze [in total], 1 linen strap . . . , 139 [ ] linen straps, [ ] bed, [ ].” 137. appul. Durand, “je l’ai fait investiguer,” with explanatory notes in 26 and LAPO. napalum typically has a concrete object. Accordingly, I understand †emum here as message written on a tablet that was filed and searched by Mukannisum. 138. naqqabu. Durand translates “hammers.” 139. nalbasu. Durand, 21, 420 n. 110, judged the conventional translation “coats” to be a product of etymological fantasy. Here is another such product: “coat-hangers?”

220 1.


Text 26 112

The topic of the requested report is unclear. Perhaps Mukannisum expected further queries in the same matter and needed detailed information to “dig up” more documents.

26 112–18 and 121–22 are letters by, and 123 and 125 are letters about the diviner Ishi-Addu; 126–29 are letters by a military officer of that name. The name of the sender of 120 has Ishi- as the first element, which is common. If he was in fact Ishi[Addu], he would have been the military officer. The theater of operations in this letter is the Balih area, while that of letters 126–29 is the northern plains.

26 112 See 26 122, which may concern the same group of travelers.

To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “According to the letter of my lord, I made extispicies for letting the female astalû singers move on, and they have been dropped.1 They are not sound. And I made (extispicies) for Yasmah-Addu and Usaris-Hetil. They are sound. I dispatched them. The day I send this tablet of mine to my lord, the cattle, sheep, and donkey mares reached Imar.2 They are well.” 1. 2.

Durand suggests that the diviner, having made repeated extispicies, gave up on obtaining a clear oracle. According to Durand, “Imar,” 75, the movement of the animals would constitute “la transhumance d’un grande chef nomade.” The animals may have been merchandise or gifts. See pp. 33–34.

26 113 = Nougayrol, “Rapports,” 226–27 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I saw the extispicy of the lamb of a diviner which was (later) burnt before ªthe godº. In that extispicy the ªoutlookº [was in place] in the locality of the truth. 140 The path was in place, and [ ]. The mystery [ ] the reinforcement. 141 The palace gate was unblemished. A weapon was in place on the duct of the shepherd and ªfollowedº the shepherd. The two bases of the shepherd were incised on the ªright, tornº on the left. ªThe strongholdº of the left was . . . 142 notched. The right of the finger was ªbruisedº. The left of the finger was ªattachedº. The outgrowth was a [(male/ female)] ªbattle-axº. The lungs were ªsoundº. [The heart ] an obstruction. The upper sides were ªsoundº.”

140. ina qaqqar kittim. The genitive construction renders Durand’s translation “à l’endroit normal” unlikely. See Leiderer 208, qaqqar martim “locality of the gall bladder,” and 26 100-bis ina qaqqar sulmi “in the locality of the cleft.” These parallels point to kittum “truth” as liver part. 141. The diviner checked the liver for the presence of the reinforcement (ligamentum teres hepatis) and would then state that it had or did not have reinforcement (dananam isu / ul isu), subintelligating the liver as subject of his statement (see, e.g., Leiderer 185). Nougayrol restored accordingly ú-u[l i-su?]. But here the mystery (puzrum) is the subject of the sentence. Interaction between mystery and reinforcement is conceivable as these parts are adjacent. 142. za-aG-Ki?-[x].

Text 26 114



26 114 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “ªDadi-Hadnuº came and entrusted this ªtravel groupº [to] his pasture-chief. I made ªextispiciesº and touched the forehead of the pasture-chief,1 and my extispicies were sound. And I (herewith) send this tablet of mine to my lord. I have dispatched the travel group. It has gone out.” 1.

The touch identified the person for the divinity who would provide the oracle. See also 26 174 and Durand 26/1, 39. In 26 224, the touch of a sacrificial animal by the offerer identified the offerer for the divinity receiving the offering when the offerer could not be physically present. The function of touching the forehead in 26 205 is different and unclear.

26 115 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “My lord instructed me about making ªextispiciesº prior to his departure as follows: ‘Do your former round again and make (another) extispicy!’ This instruction my lord gave me. Now, according to the instruction that my lord gave me, [ ] ªaboutº the slave who [ ] the ªslave-mark, shackleº [and fetter] [n lines]. ‘If [ ] ªshackleº [ ] a slave, may he be of the palace, may he be of ªa commonerº, his slave-mark will be shaved, his shackle will be broken, his fetter will be loosened, and he then walks about inside the city—are they 143 indeed agreeable?’ This I did.1 The god agreed to this. I now have sent those extispicies to my lord. My lord must ªseeº those extispicies.” 1.

The sentence “This I did” indicates that the preceding passage is the formulation of an oracular question. It seems to be concerned with the propriety of a former slave walking about in a city, presumably the city where he was slave.

26 116 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “[n lines] on the left side the enlarged part 144 was bruised and the constricted part on the left was raised. The troops are well. The camp is ªwellº.”

26 117 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I made extispicies on seizing the city1 for (the next) 3 days, and my ªextispiciesº were sound. The stomach was bruised on the left side. [And] the intestines were bloated. My ªextispiciesº included incidents of catching. My lord will seize the city ªin a hardº battle. ª º Hali-Hadu made ªextispicies forº the well-being of the troops [and] the camp, and his ªextispicies were sound. The camp is wellº [and] ªthe troopsº are well.” 1.

Probably Ahuna; see 26 120.

143. The feminine plural reference of the stative magra “are agreeable” probably refers to the implied awatum “matters” or annêtum “these (things).” 144. †apasum. See Durand’s detailed discussion of the term.



Text 26 118

26 118 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I ªmadeº the extispicies of this month and the coming (month) until its completion for the well-being of Íuprum, and [5 lines] I have sent my lord. My extispicies are sound for the days for which I made them.”

26 119 [To my lord] speak! Your servant ªBahdi-Limº (says), “[About what my lord] ªwroteº me—[I], ªYasim-Sumuº,1 [Kibri-Dagan], and Yaqqim-Addu [consulted], and our counsel is: [if my lord] ªdepartsº, my lord must go among the shock troops, chariots, and gear. And if my lord goes: when my lord arrives before the troops and prays for 145 the troops and then instructs an agent and dispatches (him), it is good. Now, the first day the troops will stay overnight in Saggaratum. The second day ªthe troopsº will proceed from Saggaratum and stay overnight [at] the bridge. My lord must offer front of Dagan, and may the god give sound extispicies to my lord! If the god answers with yes to my lord’s going on expedition, my lord will arrive here, and my lord will go among the shock troops, chariots, and gear. And if my lord goes on campaign, my lord will arrive before the troops and pray [for] ªthe troopsº. And my lord will instruct [an agent] and [dispatch (him). This] is the counsel which we, [YasimSumu], ªKibri-Daganº, [Yaqqim-Addu, and I], reached in consultation.2 [6 lines].” 1. 2.

Maul, “Sparmassnahme,” 761 n.s that Yasim-Sumu participated in the planning of a campaign as manager of the provisions of the troops. The wording of the letter is awkward and repetitive. Bahdi-Lim wants to get the following points across: the king should (1) offer to Dagan, probably in Terqa, in order to secure the god’s support; (2) join the troops “at the bridge,” one day’s march from Saggaratum; (3) dispatch an agent, who would presumably organize things ahead of the king’s location (see 26 190 for a similar mission of an agent); and (4) march among the shock troops for added protection.

26 120 To my lord [speak! Your servant] ªIshi-Addu (says), “Yaqqim-Adduº [n lines] And according to ªthe letterº of Yaqqim-Addu, which he wrote me, I sent ªthisº tablet of mine in light of the sound extispicies to my lord. I dispatched the troops of my lord to Ahuna. My lord [n lines].”

26 121 To my lord ªspeakº! [Your] ªservantº Ishi-Addu (says), “About the extispicies that ª 146º from ª 147º to my lord, my lord instructed me as follows: ‘Go ªtoº Dur-Yahdun-Lim! ªVerifyº the [exstispicies on] the Qa†aneans and ªthe Zalmaqeansº! About ªthe sons of Yaminaº (perform extispicies as follows): “If, when Zimri-Lim and [his troops] ªset outº on the road, [ ] will the sons of Yamina, ªtogether withº their troops and [ ], be united?1 ªWill they lay 145. ikarrabu. Durand translates “salutes.” 146. Durand restores il-[li-ka-nim] “sont arrivés.” 147. Durand restores ka-r[a-si-im] “depuis le camp.”

Text 26 122

26 122



siegeº to [Dur-Yahdun-Lim] and seize (it) by (force of) ªarmsº or else by ªdoingº [ ]?’ ” This omen [ ] these omens [ ] not [ ] aspirations [ ] ªsound. Perhaps the Qa†aneans, perhaps the Zalmaqeansº [ ] ªtheseº instructions [ ] of my heart [ ] ªungoodº omens [n lines].” 1.

The Yamina were divided into several tribal groups and represented a serious danger when they were united.

26 122 = 2 134 = LAPO 18 957 The journey of the chief musician Warad-Ilisu is known from other texts that are published by Durand in FM 7, 29–58. See also 26 163. The “girls” may be the astalû singers of 26 112.

To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I and Ibbi-Amurru collaborated 148 on the voyage of Warad-Ilisu to the left bank, and our extispicies were not sound. I have sent those extispicies to my lord. My lord must pay close attention to those extispicies. Now, if my lord says (so), I ªshallº make (extispicies) for the embarkation of the girls on boats. Otherwise my lord can dispatch me an escort detail that will bring (them) as far as Imar. Let my lord dispatch (them), and I shall act. My lord must write to me, so or not ªsoº.”

26 123 To my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “I had extispicies done for the wellbeing of the troops and the camp, and herewith I send those extispicies to my lord. And herewith the tablet of Ishi-Addu containing (description of) the signs of those extispicies goes to my lord.1 “Further: As long as my lord is staying yonder, 149 he may as well take a close look at the troops.” 1.

The wording is awkward. I assume that the extispicies, the tablet describing them, and the present text, which is the cover letter, went out in the same delivery.

26 125 “[more than 14 lines] corpse ªofº [ ]. ªTheyº must get the physician ªMeranumº [here]. He must get here ªquicklyº. And [my lord] must dispatch me ªthe divinerº Ishi-Addu ªwithº him, and [ ] Ishi-Addu can make the extispicy, and ªMeranumº can dress (the wounds). [My lord must] give strict orders, and they must get [those] ªmenº here quickly [by] ªsmallboatº or else by chariot. Some time ago, [n lines].”

26 126 See 26 347 for the third paragraph.

To [my] lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “My lord assigned me to Haya-Sumu. And Haya-Sumu is not yet at ease with the interior of his land and did not assign (his own) 148. nustamhir. Durand translates “nous avons comparé nos résultats.” In comment a in LAPO, he lists other translations. 149. anummanum, a rare word.



Text 26 127

troops to the gate of his palace1 and worries all the time. Now (things) go up and down 150 for the troops whom my lord dispatched with me. Now, of the 50 troops whom my lord dispatched, the 34 men who are staying with me are in receipt of clothes. Their bread and their ªmalt flourº is contracted for. They do not go hungry. 16 men are on furlough. ªThisº my lord must know. “[And about] the ungentlemanlike ªwordsº [of ] ªIbal-Pi-Elº [against] ªNur-Sinº, (namely), ‘ªTogether withº my people [and] household goods [ ] they [must] ªescortº me [to ]’ [ ], and I entrusted him to the hand of [ ], together with his people [and his] ªhousehold goodsº. He will ªarriveº before my ªlordº the [n]th day ªafterº this tablet of mine. “And further: Zakura-Abu, Ibal-Addu, Yamut-Lim and Tamarzi assembled (and came) to Sub-Ram, and they (said), ‘We will not go to Sammetar. And we could not care less about Sammetar. You will take our lead and take ªusº along to ªHaya-Sumuº.’ The day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, ªHaya-Sumuº [ ] to Bunu-Estar [2 lines].” 1.

The opposite is expected. Perhaps Haya-Sumu did not trust his own soldiers to guard him and used soldiers of the Mariote garrison instead.

26 127 To my lord speak! Your ªservantº Ishi-Addu (says), “My ªlord sentº me to take the lead of Sadu-Sarrum. The day I arrived in the land of Tadum, he sent word because of his visitation gift. And he spoke to me as follows: ‘Hold off three days until my meeting (with Sarraya) approaches!’ On the third day, Belis-Tikal, the vizier of Sarraya, came to Sadu-Sarrum. And he spoke as follows: ‘Sarraya (says), “Come, and we shall meet! And if you do not come, I shall come, and we shall meet.” This he (Sarraya) wrote him (Sadu-Sarrum) so.’ I am staying now until I hear his (Sadu-Sarrum’s further) message. Once I obtain confirmation of (these) matters from Sarraya and Sadu-Sarrum, I will go to my lord.” The letter is written in a difficult style. There are two possible translations of the first statement of IshiAddu. (1) “The day I arrived, he sent word to the land of Tadum because of his visitation gift.” (2) “The day I arrived in the land of Tadum, he sent (emissaries) because of his visitation gift.” Durand chooses the first translation and arrives at the following scenario: when Ishi-Addu arrived in Azuhinum, the royal capital of Sadu-Sarrum, his mission was delayed first by Sadu-Sarrum’s wish to receive gifts due him from the land of Tadum and second by the plan of a meeting with Sarraya, king of Razama. I believe that the “visitation gift” was the gift that Sadu-Sarrum planned to take with him to Mari. I also believe that the timing of the expected arrival of the presentation gift and the actual arrival of the vizier of Sarraya is not coincidental. But why would the availability of the presentation gift be linked to a meeting between Sadu-Sarrum and Sarraya, the kings of Azuhinum and Razama, respectively? I assume that Azuhinum was a vassal of Razama, that the state visit of the vassal king in Mari had to be coordinated with his suzerain, and that the nature of the visitation gift needed to be determined in the course of this coordination. Thus, I arrive at the following scenario: When Ishi-Addu arrived in the land of Tadum on his way to Azuhinum, he received a message from Sadu-Sarrum, telling him to wait three days, at which time the presentation gift would be available. Sadu-Sarrum had sent a messenger to Sarraya about the gift. Sarraya sent his vizier to Azuhinum to arrange a meeting with Sadu-Sarrum. At this point, Ishi-Addu sent the present letter, informing Zimri-Lim that he would have to wait until Sarraya and Sadu-Sarrum had met. I take it that his last statement, “I will go to my lord,” implies that he planned to escort Sadu-Sarrum.

150. The verbal forms indicate a feminine plural subject. The phrase seems to be an idiom.

Text 26 128



26 128 To my lord speak! Your ªservantº Ishi-Addu (says), “Qarni-Lim and ªSarrayaº entered Mardaman. Before Qarni-Lim entered, ªSarraya enteredº prior to him, ªandº Sarraya [ ] 3 hundred men and [n] women, [ ] Hadnum.1 ªLater, when Qarni-Limº had arrived (in Mardaman), they took (another) 1 thousand ªprisonersº and shared the 1 thousand prisoners between them. Qarni-Lim took 5 hundred. And Sarraya took 5 hundred. And [2 lines] and ªthe cityº [ ] is not ªstayingº. And 2 thousand ªTurukkeansº laid an ambush for them. This my lord must know.” 1.

Mardaman and Hadnum are also associated in 26 512.

26 129 To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I guard the instruction of my lord according to what my lord instructed me on.1 “Further: My lord ªinstructedº [me] to thoroughly learn the news of the land. I kept ªwritingº (my lord) the news of the land. ªAccording toº what my lord himself perceived of them, [the kings (of Idamaraß)] did not act like enemies [and] ªagreementº has been established ªbetweenº them. [And] Haya-Sumu keeps writing them all the time as follows: He (says), ‘Since you did not dispatch 151 your troops to Sasiya, enlist your troops now 152 (and) come to me, and we shall go 153 either against the army or else against the cities of [the Turukkean], and ªtogetherº we shall ring the border area (with defenses).’ This ªHaya-Sumuº keeps writing them. And they are not in agreement (with him). This my lord must know.” 1.

In other words: “I follow the instruction of my lord to the letter.” The meaningless “further” in the following statement, the renewed introduction to the issue of the message after “further,” and the lack of information on current events indicate that Ishi-Addu felt it his duty to report without having much to say. This may be one reason for the awkward phrasing of the letter; another is an inept scribe.

26 130 = 1 59 = LAPO 18 943 To Yasmah-Addu speak! Your ªfatherº Samsi-Adad (says), “The boys, the lagu donkeys, ªandº his maid, (that is) ªof the divinerº Itur-Asdu, entrust to the hand of a boy of his and ªletº him depart!”

26 131 See Durand, “Espionnage,” 51.

To my lord speak! Your servant ªYatar-Adduº (says), “4 thousand ªgoodº troops, ªthe generals Hammu-Rabiº [and] Dada, [and] ªthe divinerº Kakka-Ruqqum, [3] riders of donkeys, are those in the lead of those troops. Three days ago (reckoned from) the day I sent this 151. The scribe writes †à-at-ru-da instead of ta-a†-ru-da. 152. The scribe sprinkles the affix -ma liberally throughout the letter. Here, he even adds it to inanna “here,” which is highly unusual. 153. The scribe confuses the precative and the cohortative, writing i li-il-li-ik for i ni-il-li-ik.



Text 26 132

tablet of mine to my lord, we set out from Babylon. ªOnº the fourth day (from today) ªthe troops will be close toº Hanat.1 My ªlord mustº take ªhis dispositionsº!” 1.

It is approximately 350 km from Babylon to Hanat. They were making a respectable 50 km a day.

26 132 See the next text.

[To] my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your [servant] ªNaram-Sinº (says), “Some time ago, I [and] Zikri-Hanat made an extispicy [about] ªplatingº the face of Nin-Biri, and I wrote [my] ªlordº a report on those extispicies. Now I did my round again and made an extispicy for plating her face with silver and gold, and ªthe extispiciesº were not sound.”

26 134 See the previous text and 26 294.

“[n lines] those men [ ] did not return. They must supply ªwhite alumº, black alum, and drill-emery as soon as possible. Further: The work [on the face] 154 of Nin-Biri is completely done. And some time ago, ªthey madeº extispicies about ªplatingº [her] face, and the extispicy was sound. And ªEressum-Matumº spoke to me [as follows: “ ] they plate [1 line] plate [with] silver [n lines].”

26 135 ªToº my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Naram-Sin (says), “My lord assigned 50 dikes1 of field-area in that (the field area) of the palace to the silversmith Eressu-Matum. (Remainder not legible).” 1.

18 hectares. The large size of the assignment is remarkable and indicates that this silversmith was a man of high standing.

26 136 See 26 298.

To [my] ªlord (Yasmah-Addu) speakº! Your servant ªNaram-Sinº (says), “For the second time I made an extispicy about the illness of Beltum. It is not the hand of [ ], but the illness of ªBeltumº was a seizure.1 ªHeat ofº [n lines] is not ªfavorableº. I ªmadeº an extispicy, [and] they (the individual findings) ªwere mixedº. 1 bag and [ ]. Her illness is ªnotº [severe]. [She] ªwill liveº. The heart of [my] ªlordº need not ªbe concernedº.” 1.

The passage shows that “seizure” was not caused by the touch (hand) of a god but was believed to have a natural cause.

154. Durand restores si-pí-i[r alam] “le travail de la statue.” Note that images of divinities are not usually referred to as alam = ßalmu but designated with the name of the divinity alone.

Text 26 137



26 137 [To my] ªlordº (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Naram-Sin (says), “For the second time, I made extispicies for the messengers who go to Qa†anum, and they were not sound. And Laªum spoke to me as follows: ‘If the extispicies are not sound, you and the messengers, go to Terqa!1 [4 lines] I will write [to] my lord.’ ” 1.

Presumably Laªum advised him to take the messengers on the first leg of their trip to Qa†anum and repeat the extispicies in Terqa.

26 138 To [my] lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Mut-Bisir (says), “The diviner Naram-Sin is ªstayingº [in] Rapiqum. [4 lines] is suited to attend to my lord. Before my lord sends word, and [ ] ªhimº, my lord [must] quickly write, and [2 lines]. And let him attend to my lord!”

26 138-bis = 2 15 = LAPO 16 61 The first 29 lines are reedited by Durand under this number. For the remainder, see Jean’s edition in 2 15 and Durand’s translation in LAPO. See also M.6950 = 26/1, 247–48 = LAPO 16 62.

[To] ªYasmah-Addu speakº! Your brother Isme-Dagan (says), “About ªthe diviner Naram-Sin concerning whomº you wrote me—the king (Samsi-Adad) ªassigned himº to the district of Situllum. And you know that that district is a border region. ªNowº I have written the king as follows: ‘Naram-Sin [ ] for Yasmah-Addu. He (Yasmah-Addu) wrote me as follows: “Ibal-Pi-El [and ] 155 will ªassistº my lord.1 [If not] Naram-Sin, [who] is there who can serve me?” ªNowº [my father] must dispatch [another] diviner [to] Situllum!’ [I] ªwroteº [this] to the king. [ ], and [the district] of Situllum is border region. [And that] (region) ªcannotº be without diviner. “[When] the king assigned a diviner [to] that district, ªthe kingº wrote you about having towers carried. I am afraid you . . . , 156 and you are forgetting. Be sensible and have those towers carried to the place that the king mentioned to you.

155. Durand restores [“and his son”]. According to M.6950, a restoration “[and Zunan]” is also possible. 156. ina rapsatim ta-an-na-ZA-aQ-ma [ta]-ma-as-si; Durand proposes the reading -aq- in LAPO instead of Jean’s -az- and suggests the existence of a verb nazaqum B (u, or a/a). He assigns to it the phrase eqlum na-Zi-iK in 3 1:16 and 8:13, which he translates as “être en mauvaise condition.” This would fit well if eqlum meant “field,” but the context indicates that it means “area.” In both cases I read nasik “far flung.” Durand also assigns occurrences of the S-stem suzzuqum “causer beaucoup de tort” to nazaqum B, this time without reference. But since such meaning needs only slight modification to agree with the well-established meaning “to cause anger” of nazaqum (i/i), this S-stem cannot be used for establishing the meaning of nazaqum B. Von Soden, AHw. rapsu I 3, wanted to read tannassah and understood the phrase as an idiom. I also suspect an idiom, but I cannot identify the verb or the literal meaning.



Text 26 139

“And your servant Assur-Íululi wrote me about the doors, ‘They take ªthoseº doors to the house of Dagan.’2 Since when to the house of Dagan? Who says what? You know the palace of Kurda, [how] large its [ are. And] ªyouº know the vicinity of Kurda, ª7 linesº.” 1.


Durand, 26/1, 239 n. 42, identifies “my lord” with Isme-Dagan, noting that Yasmah-Addu calls his brother “lord” in 1 113. I do not share this interpretation, believing that in 1 113 Yasmah-Addu distinguishes his double relationship to Samsi-Adad as son and servant and calls him accordingly “father” and “lord.” In the present case, “my lord” refers again to Samsi-Adad. The situation was as follows: Yasmah-Adad requested that his father lend him the diviner Naram-Sin. The father refused because he needed a diviner in Situllum. Yasmah-Addu wrote Isme-Dagan about it. IsmeDagan wrote the father, quoting Yasmah-Addu’s letter to him. In this letter Yasmah-Addu made the point that two diviners were serving the father and implied that one could be sent to Situllum. Villard, “Administrateurs,” 16–17 and n. 49, quotes a unique case where Yasmah-Addu addresses Isme-Dagan in the letter head as his lord. Villard points out that the contents of the letter show that it was written during the lifetime of Samsi-Adad, so that the unusual address cannot be related to the time when Isme-Dagan had succeeded to Samsi-Adad. Doors for Dagan are also mentioned in 26 215.

26 139–41 are letters from Nur-Addu. While the contents of 139 and 140 do not give the impression that a diviner is speaking, FM 2 51 spells it out. I would arrange the events mentioned and implied in the letters as follows: Nur-Addu comes before the king to complain about his employment in Qa††unan. The king “answers him forthrightly” and sends him back to Qa††unan, requesting him to transmit instructions to a certain Zikri-Addu. Nur-Addu returns. Governor Aksak-Magir does not clear up the problem of his employment and Zikri-Addu does not act on the royal instruction. Nur-Addu writes 139, threatening to leave his post. The king writes Aksak-Magir to do something about the employment of Nur-Addu. Aksak-Magir answers with 141, blaming his predecessor, Ilsu-Naßir. Nur-Addu follows up on the matter of the royal instructions to Zikri-Addu about employing border guards. Nothing had been done about it, and Nur-Addu explains at length in 140 about the damaging effect of Zikri-Addu’s negligence. At the same time the king and governor, Aksak-Magir, correspond about this problem, probably because of Nur-Addu’s insistence. In FM 2 51, Aksak-Magir reports that the border guards have at last been dispatched to their outposts. For Durand’s interpretation see “Administrateurs,” 84–85.

26 139 To my lord speak! Your servant Nur-Addu (says), “I went to my lord, and my lord answered me forthrightly. I arrived (in Qa††unan) and brought the tablet of my lord to ZikriAddu, and he could not care less. I and my people. . . . 157 My lord must write Aksak-Magir, and he (Aksak-Magir) must answer me forthrightly. (Then) I will not (be forced to) abandon the district of my lord and depart. Sir Zikri-Addu keeps acting for himself.”

157. x-ha-tim a-ta-na-mud; Durand reads x = pulx(lagabxes) and suggests “je vis dans la terreur” as a possible translation.

Text 26 140



26 140 To my lord speak! Your servant Nur-Addu (says), “My lord gave me ªinstructionsº for Zikri-Addu about guarding the district and [not] ªabandoningº the outposts. My lord ªinstructedº me as follows: ‘Do not neglect guarding the district and (guarding against) ªexpeditionsº of the enemy. And the Hanean Yahßib-El, together with his troops—employ them forthrightly (in exchange) for grain, and let them strengthen the district. And let the border guards depart (for their outposts).1 And they must not let the enemy pass freely through the interior of the land.’ My lord gave me this instruction for Zikri-Addu. Zikri-Addu does not care. And I placed the tablet of my lord in his hand, and he refused to answer. Yahßib-El (on the other hand), he (said), ‘I am hungry. I will depart for the river.’2 ªThusº he answered me, and I fell [to] the feet of Yahßib-El [and] his fellows, and ªthey listened to meº. I kept them (from going). Sir Zikri-Addu keeps answering them untoward things. He will make this district slip from the hand of my lord. My lord must write him ªstrict ordersº, and he (ZikriAddu) must answer persons forthrightly, and I shall [ ] this district for my lord. And fiend, ªenemyº, will not win out ªover this districtº. If my lord does not write me quickly, I will depart for my lord.” 1. 2.

The phrasing suggests that the border guards and Yahßib-El and his men were two different groups, but FM 2 51 shows that they were actually one and the same. Durand believes that Yahßib-El “was hungry” for pasture land. He may have been hungry for food. The river is the Euphrates. Letter 27 25 reports that commoners who were left without grain in the district of Qa††unan “went to the river.”

26 141 [To my lord speak! Your servant Aksak-Magir] (says), “My lord spoke about employing ªNur-Adduº [ ]. He (Nur-Addu) placed his gripe before me upon my arrival in Qa††unan. That man is (actually) not employed. My lord assigned his employment, and Ilsu-Naßir did not provide (it). I dispatched him (Nur-Addu) to ˇabatum on the spot and had (him) do an extispicy for the well-being of ªthe Hanaº and the border region. My lord must employ that ªmanº. “And they did not provide the 2 oxen that my lord mentioned.”

26 142 ªTo my lord speakº! Your servant ªSamas-In-Matimº (says), “I made ªextispiciesº for ª1º month of ª30 daysº for the left bank ªfrom Sarunaº up to Hidar1 (to make sure) that ªthe enemyº will not make an incursion. In my first set the hem was tied. And in my same first set, ªthe intestinesº were swollen. The stomach was bruised on the left. I verified (it), and in my verification the stomach was bruised on left and right. I have sent them (the extispicies), [and they] ªare soundº for their days. “And I made (extispicies) about the dream of Sammetar. That dream was one of dusk. It was ªnotº before his eyes.” 1.

The localities define the border of the district of Terqa on the east bank of the Euphrates. See my note, NABU 1996 14.



Text 26 143

26 143 To my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “The day Samas-In-Matim arrived, that day it rained, and he did not perform extispicies. The next day he made extispicies, and for the extispicies that he brought from Mari1 and (that were destined) for the well-being of the city of Terqa < >.2 And by now [he] ªmadeº the extispicies. I sent those to my lord.3 The city of Terqa, Dagan, and the district are well. The heart of my lord need not be concerned about a thing.” 1.

2. 3.

The word “extispicies” here designates the animals on which the extispicies were performed. Conversely, extispicies can be designated by the name of the animal from which they were taken, as, for example, 26 160: “I made 2 lambs as follows. . . .” The sentence is unfinished. The letter is not well written. It seems to be in response to an urgent need for extispicies to be performed in Terqa. Perhaps the animals came with the diviner so that there would be no loss of time in searching for suitable ones in Terqa. Urgency is also indicated by the fact that the governor felt it necessary to explain that the delay was due to a rainy day.

26 144 See comment 3 to 26 35.

[To my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “ ] made [extispicies]. Those ªextispiciesº were bad. ªRebellionº was repeatedly indicated. I have put the city gates on notice about the citizens of Rapiqum. The next day Samas-Ina-Matim made extispicies about evicting the citizens of Rapiqum from the city of Terqa and (said), ‘Evict the citizens of Rapiqum ªwhoº [are staying] ªinsideº Terqa, however many they ªareº, from ªthe cityº!’ I have evicted the citizens of ªRapiqum who were stayingº in Terqa, and I ªmadeº 158 another set of extispicies [for] the villages1 ªaboutº those troops2, and my lord must know ªthisº. “I am on good terms with the Larsaites.3 I mix sons of Simªal with those (of the Larsaites) who guard the city, and they guard ªthe cityº (together). “The grain of the palace in my district, all of it, is collected (and) put in storage. Dagan is well, [ ] is well. [2 lines] ªthisº silver [ ] ªwithº Habdu-Malik. Now [ ] to my lord.” 1. 2. 3.

Where the Rapiqeans stayed after their eviction from the city. “Those troops” must be the citizens of Rapiqum. The word “troops” is used as in 26 35. These should be the Larsaites who were drafted into the Babylonian army after the fall of Larsa to Hammu-Rabi and who were subsequently sent to Mari.

26 145 The royal administration leased agricultural land to higher-ranking servants, including diviners. Often the lease was granted by the king but not put into effect by the administration, and the land was not released.

To my lord ªspeakº! Your servant Samas-Inaya (says), “I met with my lord, and I did not tell my lord anything of my ill feelings, and they1 answered, ‘Outside!’ and so I departed. 158. epus “I made” is presumably erroneous for usepis “I caused to be made.” As Durand explains in his note on the letter, the writer must be the governor of Terqa, who was not a diviner.

Text 26 146



And I did not speak to my lord ªon my behalfº, and (as a result) I am not in possession of ªa fieldº. [And] they (the king’s staff) must instruct the ªexecutive officesº, 159 and they (the executives) must give me a ªfieldº. I must [not] go hungry. “Further: ªInº the district where I am staying they give me no diviner,2 no pigeons.3 As I ªstrainedº (to express) once, twice, to my lord, god forbid, a wrong will happen sooner or later. My lord must know. The district is well. Dir4 is well.” 1. 2. 3. 4.

Samas-Inaya was probably admitted to a royal audience and evicted before he could state his complaints. Samas-Inaya, who is a diviner himself, desires an assistant. Divination was often done by a pair of diviners. For use of birds in divination generally, see Starr, 60–63; for their use in Mari, Durand 26/1, 38. This is Dir on the Balih. See the next letter.

26 146 To my lord speak! Your servant Hamman (says), “My lord wrote me about the grain of Dur-Íabim.1 Upon my arrival I consequently assembled the citizens of Dir, and they harvested the grain of Dur-Íabim in one day. [And] 4 carts will do the transport in 15 days. I am not negligent. “Further: Samas-Inaya made an extispicy until the end of the month, and they (the individual oracular findings) were sound. Samas-Inaya complains daily about a field, (saying), ‘Release me (it)! I shall request a field from my lord.’ Upon hearing this tablet of mine, my lord must give Samas-Inaya a field. His household must not go hungry. The district is well. Dir is well.” 1.

In “Locusts,” 106, I suggested locating Dur-Íabim between Qa††unan and the Balih. The context here shows clearly that it was located in the vicinity of Dir. It could have been just what its name, “Fortress-of-the-Troops,” means, housing the troops that secured Dir and the agricultural land in its vicinity, including the granaries (see the next letter).

26 147 [To my lord] ªspeak! Yourº servant ªHammanº (says), “About the troops ªwhoº are with ªSub-Ramº1 concerning whom my lord wrote me, ‘Your troops quit; are the troops staying 160 with Sub-Ram?’—with the remaining troops I am rebuilding the (part of the) wall that has collapsed, concerning which I wrote my lord. 161 The heart of my lord need not be concerned 159. Durand understands [t]e-re-tim as extispicies. A good example of the fact that executives were instrumental in the distribution of land to royal officials is 27 108. 160. ßabum wa-as-bu-ú. Durand understands the verbal form as “subjonctive d’insistance.” I doubt the existence of such a form. It also would not account for the plene-writing here. ßabum can be construed as plural (ALM §69d and e), and the plene-writing shows that the clause is interrogative. As interrogative, the clause must be Zimri-Lim’s words. There is no explicit answer to the question. Instead, the answer is implied in the opening formula, “about the troops who are with Sub-Ram.” I assume that this is a case of awkward phrasing. The scribe of Hamman might have written: “About the troops concerning whom my lord wrote me, ‘. . . ,’ they are (in fact) with Sub-Ram.” 161. The sign -ia is missing after be-lí, and the verb form is indicative.



Text 26 148

about a thing. The district is well. Dir is well. The diviner (Samas-Inaya) gripes. [And about] the freeing 162 of a field, ªhe keeps worryingº. [ ] ªdivinerº [ ].” 1.

If the kings of Kirdahat and Susa by this name were different persons, the present Sub-Ram was probably the king of Kirdahat, because that city is closer to Dir on the Balih than Susa.

26 148 [To] my lord Zimri-Lim ªspeakº! Your ªservantº Yalªa-Addu (says), “I ªlistened toº the tablet that my lord sent me. Since you keep hurrying my trip to you, my lord must listen to this tablet of mine,1 and he must write to his father, ªYarim-Limº, as follows: ‘[I] ªkeep writingº to your servant Yalªa-Addu ªaboutº his coming down to me, and (he says), “I will not come down [without] (the consent) of my lord.” ªWriteº him and [let] him ªcomeº to me.’ Write your father these things, and [n lines. PN (said), ‘[n lines] we shall ªclose upº past matters. From this day on, I will establish ªgood relationsº between you and between ªyourº sons.’2 “Further: What . . . 163 your eyes for the oxen? Perhaps my lord made (words) in his heart as follows: ‘Once I give him plow oxen now, when he comes, what then? Once I dispatch him (later), he will make me give another.’3 Perhaps my lord decided on these things in his heart. He need ªnotº give me a thing when I come to my lord. ªDispatch YarimDaganº . . . 164 to [ ]. And I wrote to my lord that [ ]. My lord will see that ª º behind my mouth. 165 ªThere isº no servant who will prove stronger than [me].” 1. 2. 3.

The writer uses 2d and 3d person in referring to Zimri-Lim. It is unlikely that Yalªa-Addu would say this to Zimri-Lim, so it should be the end of quoted speech. I do not understand why Zimri-Lim would be obliged to provide Yalªa-Addu with another plow oxen.

26 149 [To] my lord Zimri-Lim ªspeak! Yourº [servant] Yalªa-Addu (says), “ªYarim-Daganº [n lines. ‘n lines ] for 1 pound of bronze, ªfor whichº I can raise a claim against you. I will weigh out 10 shekels of silver.’ “And about the corpse of Asqudum concerning which I wrote—did I myself go, and did I ªseeº the corpse? I ªheardº from those around me, ‘The corpse ªlies above Halabitº.’ ” 1 1.

Durand shows in 26/1, 77–78 that the corpse of Asqudum could not have been that of the diviner by that name.

162. ip†iri eqlim. Durand translates “prix de rachat du champ.” This meaning of ip†irum is well attested as the designation of ransom for prisoners of war. Here, the question is not about the sale of real estate but the release of a field (see the second paragraph of the previous letter) of crown land to a royal appointee. 163. id-da-as. Durand reads id-da-àß “pourquoi as-tu trouvé bon de me refuser.” The value àß of as is not established at Mari. 164. Durand translates ina qaqqadim kabtim “avec honneur.” 165. Durand restores warki piya [is-sa-a]n-ni-qú and translates “que j’honorerai mes promesses,” remarking that the expression seems to be a hapax.

Text 26 150



26 150 To my lord speak! Your [servant] Sammetar (says), “ªAfterº my (last) tablet that [I] sent ªmyº [lord], the cultivator Yanßibum ªarrivedº and spoke to me as follows: He (said), ‘YalªaAddu relayed ªtheirº [decision] to me. ªTheirº [kings], their administrators, [and] their mayors assembled [in] ªthe houseº of Annunitum.1 [ ] fathers [n lines. They (said), “n lines] surrounded, and we will come [indeed] to the rescue like one ªmanº. Indeed, we will do battle with him (Zimri-Lim). Indeed, together we will die and together we will live!” This was their decision. And Yalªa-Addu wrote me ªas followsº: He (said), “There was a hostile decision. I will send ªyouº [ ] on a tablet.” This ªYalªa-Adduº wrote me.’ ªNowº, I ªwriteº this news ªquicklyº to [my] lord.” 1.

Annunitum was venerated in particular by the Yamina. Accordingly, “their” refers to the Yamina.

26 151 ªToº my lord speak! Your [servant] Habduma-Dagan (says), “ªSumu-Haduº wrote me [about] the diviner Yalªa-Addu [as follows]: ‘Persuade him, and he must come ªand meetº with my lord.’ ªThis, Sumu-Hadu wroteº me. The diviner ªYalªa-Adduº [ , and] he came to Saggaratum and stayed with me. And I spoke to him as follows: I (said), ‘Go! Meet with my lord Zimri-Lim, and then he will clothe [you] in a garment!’ This I said to him. Now, herewith I have that man conducted to my lord. The 14th of the month of Kiskisum (XI) was in progress, when I sent my lord this tablet.” 166

26 152 To my ªlordº speak! Your servant Itur-Asdu (says), “The diviner Yamßi-Hadnu made extispicies for the well-being of the city of Mari and the prisons ªfrom thisº day until the end of ªthis month, andº his ªextispiciesº for the well-being of the prisons were ªbadº. He repeated (them) a second time, and his extispicies were sound until the 15th day. They did not include any cause for concern. As he went over his round one, two, three times, (he found that) a dispossession in the outback 167 was in place in his extispicies. Now my lord must give strict orders to the troops, and all of them must concern themselves with their guard (duties). And I will arrive before my lord the second day after this tablet of mine and watch closely my work detail at the start of its work assignment.”1 1.

That is to say, “when the workers start on their project.”

166. The translation follows Kupper, “Les différents moments de la journée,” in Mélanges Limet, 85, who suggests a “neutral” sense for nasahum “to elapse” and translates the formula, “au xe jour en cours.” 167. ne-ke-e-em-ti ßerim. Durand understands the phrase as the designation for a sign on the liver and translates “un ßêrum atrophié.” Sasson, NABU 1994 42, understands it as prediction and translates “stunting of the plain.” I believe that the diviner found a sign on the liver that indicated ne-ke-e-em-ti ßerim, and I translate nekemtum according to its literal meaning, “that which was taken away.” See already n. 114 to 26 87.



Text 26 153

26 153 [To my lord speak! Your] ªservantº [PN] (says), “Some time ago, my lord ªwroteº [me] for news from ªTuttulº. Before my lord ªwroteº, [my] tablets ªwent regularlyº all the time to ªHabduma-Daganº and Sumhu-Rabi.1 And I ªkeep sendingº my boys all the time to ªthe guardº (station) of. . . . 168 Now they made extispicies for the well-being of Tuttul, and YassiEl ªwrote downº the message of those extispicies place by place, 169 and he ªsentº [me] (it). Herewith I ªsendº my lord the tablet of Yassi-El containing the message of the extispicies that he sent me. And they brought a clod of Tuttul. One-half I kept with me for the purpose of having extispicies done, and herewith I have sent one-half to my lord. And I wrote about sending a clod of Zalpah, ªSerdaº, and Ahuna, but they did not yet bring (any). My boy ªquicklyº took the clod of Tuttul [and] ªdepartedº [7 lines].” 1.

They held positions in Tuttul during the time of Yasmah-Addu. Villard, “Administrateurs,” 90, characterized their careers as “strictly parallel.” They became governors of Saggaratum early in Zimri-Lim’s reign, Sumhu-Rabi following Habduma-Dagan in that position. Perhaps they continued their “parallel” work in Saggaratum during that time.

26 154 To our lord speak! Your servant Zikri-Hanat and Hali-Hadun (say), “I made extispicies for the well-being of Mari, and in my first set ªthe hemº was tied. The ªupper parts were soundº. In ªmyº verification ªthe intestines were bloatedº. The upper parts were ªsoundº. In my extispicies there ªwasº no . . . 170 weapon. My extispicies for the hand of . . . 171 were sound. We made reinforcements for the guard of the city and the prisons. My lord must see them (the extispicies), and (if necessary) a new round must be made.”

26 154-bis [To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant PN (says), “ ] ªHammanº [ ] wrote [ ] he assembled [ ] from ªHarbeº up to ªMulhanº. And he spoke [to them] as follows: ‘50 tracts of grain [ ] for ªthe palacesº. A city [ ] according to [its] dues. 172 We shall ª º the palaces [ ] with the commoners.’ [This] he said to them, and [ ] of the commoners [ . I spoke] to Hammanum as follows: ªIº (said), ‘There is not much grain. It is not [ ]. You cannot stand against your district, all of [it]! 173 Take that grain from 2 or else 3 men on 168. Durand, ana maßßa[rti] hi-†ì-im “pour garder de (tout) manquement.” The semantic nuance “guard against” for naßaru, maßßarum, or maßßartum is not assured. If the letter belongs to the reign of Zimri-Lim, and the two officials were stationed in Saggaratum, ªmaßßartiº hi-ti-im could be a guard post at the border of the province of Saggaratum, from which the servants of the governor of Saggaratum would have brought tablets to the governor. 169. idisam. It probably refers to the oracular spots on the liver. 170. Durand reads na-[k]a?-ru-um “hostile.” 171. The name of a god is expected. Durand restores An-n[u?-ni-tim]. 172. Durand reads ki-ma ki-ìs-da-t[i-su li-pu-ul] “[doit payer] en fonction de ses avoirs.” 173. ana halßika ka-li-[sa] la tazzaz. For the meaning, see AHw. izuzzum II 5 b ; Durand reads (ú-ul [na-†ú-ú]) ana halßika ka-le-[ta] la tazzaz “il n’est pas convenable que tu le refuses à ton district. Ne restes pas inactif.”

spread is 6 points long

Text 26 155



whom I checked.’ He (said), ‘Oh no!’ I spoke to him again as follows: I (said), ‘There is much grain in Yabliya. Let Zikri-Hanat make an extispicy, and I shall take the 50 tracts of grain, and we shall erase the gripes of ªthe commonersº.’ He (said), ‘(Even) when he makes the extispicies, and they are completely straight, I will not (allow) one liter of grain to be provided. The commoners of my district will hear it and hit their nose.”1 I (said), ‘. . . 174 you will not receive anything, however much, of the grain that is in Harbe, Ayyabe, and Mulhan. [ ] I will write my lord, and a tablet [of my lord] ªwill comeº, the dues of ªYabliyaº [n lines].’ ”2 1.


If Hamman is expressing his distaste for coddling commoners, the expression “they hit their nose” should mean something like “they will get cocky.” Durand believes that Hamman feared the commoners’ protest against the sacrilege of borrowing from the god Yabliya and concludes that the idiom expresses anguish. The preservation of the letter does not allow a secure interpretation. I provide in the following a hypothetical scenario. The writer was probably an envoy from Yasmah-Addu who was sent to Suhum to mediate a conflict between the governor and the commoners. The governor, Hamman, had assembled the representatives, perhaps the mayors, of the population of lower Suhum, requesting delivery of 60,000 liters of grain for the palaces. They protested and appealed to YasmahAddu, who in turn sent the writer of the letter to Suhum. The latter tells the governor that the commoners cannot afford to provide the requested amount of grain and that the governor cannot prevail against the commoners. He suggests alternative ways to obtain the grain, namely, (1) from individuals, perhaps merchants, with large grain reserves, presumably through purchase. The governor rejects the idea; (2) from “Yabliya,” extispicies permitting. Yabliya was a city whose name and whose tutelary deity were identical, just like Id and Hanat on the Euphrates and Assur on the Tigris. We do not know much about the constitution of such cities. The present letter indicates that Yabliya had grain reserves that could be touched by outsiders only after extispicy—that is, in accordance with the will of the god. Perhaps the harvest of the inhabitants of the city was stored as property of the temple and redistributed by the temple to the citizens. In that case, the suggestion by the writer of the letter was to take out a loan of grain from the temple of Yabliya. The governor rejected the idea again.

26 155 This report sounds as if it were written just before Mari was conquered by Babylon, but extispicies were routine on occasions when foreign soldiers entered a city even if they were allies (see 26 100-bis). The present report may have been written in ZL 2u, when Babylonian allied troops entered Mari.

To [our] lord speak! Your servants Zikri-Hanat and Inib-Samas (say), “We made the extispicies for the entry of Babylonian troops into Mari as follows: ‘If in the course of their entry to Mari, will they not cause rebellion to be committed and seize ªthe city ofº Mari?’1 [In] my first set the hem [was tied. 175 The outlook] was in place. The path ªhadº a headband. 176 ªThe seatº of the left was. . . . 177 [The palace] ªgateº was sound. ªThe cleft was in placeº. The 174. is-tu-ma an-ni-gán. Durand, “puisqu’ ici.” 175. Restored according to 26 142:9–10. 176. u.sa˛ ªiº-[su]. Durand reads puzur sa˛ and interprets “the mystery (had) a head.” But the mystery would not be in the proper place in the description of oracular findings, and puzrum “mystery” is elsewhere written syllabically. The term u.sa˛ = kubsum = headband is used of various features of innards in extispicy texts. 177. sa-ru-ir. sarir is used for various liver parts. According to AHw. sararu I, it may mean “is bent forward” or “inclined.”


26 156


Text 26 156

[two] ªbases of the shepherd were tornº 178 on the ªrightº and were ªsplitº on the left, and the wall was twisted. 179 ªThe strikeº [of the face of the enemy]. . . . 180 The drop of ªthe chairº [ ]. The left of the back of the center [of the finger was . On ] a weapon was in place, and [its] face [looked] upwards. The outgrowth was sound. [13 lines containing description of the verification] We (said), ‘We will repeat our round.’ ” 1.

Oracular questions regularly state the circumstance in a dependent clause introduced by “if.” Accordingly, we expect “If they enter Mari. . . .” The subjunctive particle “if ” is purely formulaic here, having lost its semantic function.

26 156 = Yuhong, 322–23 The military situation at the time of the letter was an Esnunakean advance from south to north in Suhum (see Yuhong, 316–23). Harbe was in Esnunakean hands. The location of the village that Zaªikum fortified was on the front between Esnunakeans and Mariotes. Another letter from Abi-Epuh to Yasmah-Addu about matters in Suhum is M.10991 (Charpin, “Sapiratum,” 365).

[To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak]! Your servant ªAbi-Epuhº (says), “The Yabliyaite Zaªikum fled to Harbe together with his people. He has fortified a village between Harbe and Ayyabe, and that village is very strong. I spoke to the Yabliyaites about placing scouts in that village. I (said), ‘I am afraid the Esnunakean will enter the village, and it will not return to the region (of our control). [Let] 50 [scouts] ªhold that villageº, [ ] is there. Your ªscoutsº must stay there on a regular basis until [my] ªscoutsº [ .’ ] They (said), ‘Since Zaªikum left his king and the gods of his city [and] seeks another ªkingº, we will ªgoº and ªtake down (the fortifications of) hisº village. We will ªanswerº all questions1 of our lord about ªthisº.’ Now, I dispatched ªZikri-Hanatº with them. I (said), ‘Make an extispicy, and if that village (still) holds out at the end of the month,2 leave the 50 men behind, and depart! If your extispicies are bad,3 take down (its fortifications) according to what the Yabliyaites say.’ “Further: About the scouts of the district of Yabliya—they are negligent. About once, ten ªtimesº, I submitted witnesses (to this effect) to the assistant of Hammanum, but he does not listen. The rescue detachment4 for my district arrived, and 50 men from the rear guards and the singles5 and ªtheir guide PNº [2 lines]. [The district] is well.” 1. 2. 3. 4.


The idiom means “we take the responsibility for it with respect to our lord.” Against Esnunakean pressures to occupy it? That is to say, “if the extispicy negates the expectation that the village will hold out.” “Rescue detachment” is an etymological translation, inasmuch as the corresponding verb is usually translated “to come to the rescue.” References for the noun, which are assembled in the group index, show that these detachments were used for rapid response to military attack. In the present context, Esnunakean attacks were anticipated. “Singles” were commoners (27 26) who served as laborers in public works and as soldiers in the army. They were often paired with rear guards.

178. p[i]t-ru-†a-ma. In 26 100-bis, the bases of the shepherd are described as par†a. 179. zi-ir = zir = stative of zârum “twist,” which often refers to a liver part. Durand differs. 180. x (Durand reads [g]ìr) mahrat. mihßum “strike” is feminine. It also forms a feminine plural.

Text 26 157



26 157 To my lord speak! Your servant Zimri-Dagan (says), “My lord set aside field and houses in Tuttul for my brothers, all of them, my travel group, the scouts. My lord must ªgive directionº, and they (royal executive officers in Tuttul) ªmust giveº me a field and house. Let them ªreturnº 181 my house and my. . . . 182 The districts of my lord are wide. They are maltreating me, 183 and I cannot go to my lord (in person).”

26 158 The extispicies mentioned here were made for the district of Saggaratum. See my note, NABU 1996 14.

To [my] ªlord speakº! Your servant Zimri-Dagan (says), “I made ªextispiciesº for the well-being of this district from Abattum up to Saggaratum on the east bank, from Sa Hiddan up to Dur-Yahdun-Lim on the right bank, for this month [until] its ªendº, and my extispicies were sound for ªtheir daysº. My lord need not be concerned.”

26 159 [To my lord (Yasmah-Addu)] ªspeakº! Your servant Zunan (says), “ªYesterdayº my lord ªspokeº to me ªaboutº not going on an expedition, (saying), ‘Let Asqudum go [and] you stay behind!’ ªInº the past my lord [spoke] as follows: He (said), ‘ªDepartº [n lines].’ ”

26 160 See 26 40.

“[n lines] to ªcedeº [ to] the king of Babylon [ I] made extispicies as follows: ªIº 184 (said), ‘If Zimri-Lim cedes Id to the king of Babylon, will Zimri-Lim be well? Will his land be well? And will his land expand?’ I made 2 (more) lambs as follows: I (said), ‘If Zimri-Lim cedes Id to the ªkingº [of Babylon], will Zimri-Lim be ªwellº? Will his ªlandº be well? And will [his] ªland expandº?” My ªextispiciesº were ªnot soundº. [I turned around and] did it ªas followsº: “ªIfº Zimri-Lim [does not] ªcedeº [Id] to the king of Babylon, will ªZimri-Limº [be well]? Will his land be ªwellº? And will his land ªexpandº?” The extispicies for not ceding [ ]. My extispicies were ªsoundº. My lord may [ ] the city of Id and [ ] for the king of Babylon. He need not [circa 13 lines].”

181. biti . . . literrunim. Durand translates “que l’on me rende ma maison” and suggests that it was a way of asking for permission to return to his house. 182. si-r[i]-i. Durand translates “emblavature,” which is normally written si-ir-i or si-ir-hi. 183. naskuninnima. Durand translates “ils m’ont été attribués.” A derivation from sakanum N seems impossible. The stative plural with accusative suffix of the first-person singular, in itself a most unlikely formation for an N-stem, should be naskununinni. As it stands, the form means “they are in the habit of biting me.” Perhaps it refers to the abusive attitude of the officials responsible for giving out fields and houses far from the capital. 184. Durand reads [at-t]a-ma. The photo allows [a-na-k]u-ma.



Text 26 161

26 161 “[n lines] I made extispicies, and in [my] ªfirst set the outlook was in placeº. The path was in place. The palace gate was sound. The cleft—it was two-headed—was looking at the yoke. The two ªbasesº of the shepherd were ªattachedº on the right, torn off on ªthe leftº. On ªthe leftº of the shepherd was a ªnotchº. And the ªloopº of the finger was sound. ªThe outgrowthº was a (female) battle ax. The lungs were sound. The heart was sound. My upper parts were ªsoundº. In my verification ªthe outlookº was in place. ªThe pathº was in place. The palace [gate] was sound. [n lines].”

26 162 [To my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant [PN] (says), “ªAccording to that on whichº my lord ªinstructedº [me], I made an extispicy for the entry of the gods into the palace, and the extispicies were very ªsoundº. I made (them) for going to the houses of the gods, and they were not sound. For their entry into the palace [2 lines].”

26 163 See 26 122; and Durand FM 7, 29 n. 72.

[To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Addu (says), “I listened to the tablet that] my ªlordº sent me. My ªlordº wrote me as follows: ‘Go [to] ªDur-Yahdun-Limº, [and] ªmakeº extispicies ªforº the journey of Warad-Ilisu! Let his journey succeed!’ ªWarad-Ilisuº arrived in Terqa after the 25th day of [the month] of Urahum (I). He is staying [n] days in Terqa, and he will stay [the next day] ªovernightº in Zibnatum, and [ ] to ªDur-Yahdun-Limº [n lines].”

26 167 “[n lines] ‘He had me do them [ sheep] graze 185 in ªthe steppeº. My extispicies were sound for their borders. Once the sheep pass their borders, the enemy will attack them. A rescue detachment will go out. A diviner does ªnotº cheat.’ [This] I said ªtoº Buqaqum [ ] sheep [n lines] will die. I spoke [to] Buqaqum. ªForº the wrong that happened, I bear no guilt. This my lord must know. “Further: I made extispicies for the district ªfromº Mulhan to Sapiratum. 186 In my first set my upper parts were sound. The cleft in the twin-sister 187 formed a barrier. In its center the bases of the shepherd were standing opposite each other. [n lines] a voice [ ] beginning of the month. ªThe districtº [ ] that omen ªappearedº.”

26 168–72 These letters were written from Mislan by Yamina diviners to SumuDabi, leader of the Yamina revolt against Zimri-Lim, some time in early ZL 2 u (see §4d, pp. 45ff.). The location of Sumu-Dabi is not mentioned but may have been 185. Durand reads s[ip]a-ka la. . . . I assume ªi-ikº-ka-la. A photo of the text was not published. 186. Read according to Charpin’s collation in “Sapiratum,” 365. 187. masitum is the designation for a part of the gall bladder in a late text, see CAD.

Text 26 168



Samanum. The letters were presumably removed from Sumu-Dabi’s archive when Samanum was conquered.

168 Rev26 168 To ªourº lord (Sumu-Dabi)1 speak! Your servants Yamßi-Hadnu, Masum, and HammiEsim (say), “Our partner2 is like a pod3 that is filled 188 with locusts. He is constantly on the move. Daily he gives out bronze lance, shield, 189 and (other) weaponry. We sent a sleuth, and he checked on it and returned (word) to us. He (Zimri-Lim) makes (siege) towers.4 May god break his weapons! His aspirations are (aimed) hither. “And the harvest has arrived. Our lord must not neglect to write his brothers, and their troops from the cities and the comrads from the encampments must be assembled. A rescue detachment must arrive like one man on the day we hear the alarm of [his (Zimri-Lim’s)] coming out. Because an alarm might be heard, we ordered a herald (to be ready) to call (it) out over here (in town). We have requisitioned 60 liters of thin beer and 60 liters of flour for opening the house.5 “Further: The city where our lord is staying, and (where) he is settled—our lord must give strict orders to keep the guards of the wall and outposts at the ready by night and siesta. There must be no negligence. Here, we are concerned about the guard of wall and outposts. And at the clearing of the month we will perform extispicies for the well-being of the city and the cultivated zone and write a report on the extispicies to our lord.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The “lord” of the diviners is identified as Sumu-Dabi in 26 170. Zimri-Lim. If the translation “partner” is correct, it is used here sarcastically. The egg-pod of locusts about to open is what is meant, a sort of Pandora’s box. For more detail, see my article “Locusts,” 104. For the perspective from Mari, see 26 71-bis. It is not clear which house is meant.

26 169 To our lord (Sumu-Dabi) speak! Your servant Yamßi-Hadnu and Masum (say), “The month has cleared, and on the first day (of the new month) we made extispicies with 2 lambs for the well-being of the city for one month. From the report on those extispicies of ours, (it can be seen that) this month the enemy will not move against you with his troops and his allies, and he will not besiege me.1 He will not squat before my city gate. His bronze lance will not sting. The footprint of a raid was placed (on the liver). His aspirations are to raid, and he will raid my cultivated zone. If there are troops at the disposal of our lord, [he must] ªdispatchº me 1 hundred troops, and they [must] ªenter Mislanº [5 lines] extispicies [ ]. And negligence [ ]. Our lord must not ªneglect to bring (his) guardsº of the palace gate and the outposts to full strength. And our lord might hear some word, and his heart will take fright. Still, it is safe. Our lord must ªnotº tire in keeping the guards at full strength. And let Halu-Hadun perform extispicies for the well-being of our lord, and he must bake the

188. malêt. The subjunctive is expected. GAG §164f suspects influence of Amorrite. 189. ßinnatum. Translation according to Abrahami, NABU 1991 26.



Text 26 170

extispicies that he makes and send me (them). And here, I will repeat them and write a report on my extispicies. “And further: Sumu-Hadum just took the short cut from Guru-Addu together with 1 hundred troops, and . . . , 190 and he. . . . 191 Our lord must keep his guards at full strength!” 1.

As often in coauthored letters, self-reference vacillates between the first-person singular and first-person plural. The first person seems to designate Yamßi-Hadnu as representative of Mislan. This is surprising because, according to the next letter, the Yamina chief Yagih-Addu stayed in the city.

26 170 ªToº our lord (Sumu-Dabi) ªspeak! Your ªservantsº Yamßi-Hadnu [and] Masum (say), “We made extispicies for the well-being of our lord for 10 days, and our extispicies ªrequestº troops. In executing (them) we did (them) as follows: ‘If Zimri-Lim, together with his ªtroopsº, approaches our lord, Sumu-Dabi, should Sumu-Dabi, with troops few or many, however many he can readily equip, draw up in (battle) formation against Zimri-Lim, should he do battle with him, and be safe, defeat him, be victorious?’ This procedure I followed, and [our extispicies] request troops. [ ] troops at the disposal of our lord [ ] he must not do battle. [12 lines] “[The day] after which we ªsendº our lord this tablet, we will set hand to harvesting. And . . . 192 we will harvest the grain of the opposite river bank. The grain of the terrace 193 of the stream—had there been one shower, it would have yielded grain like an irrigated area. Much grain (started to) come out, but without a shower it stopped (growing). We are picking up grain corresponding to our exertions. 194 The heart of our lord need not become apprehensive about the grain. When the breath of our lord is alive, (even a little bit of) grain is much. Our lord must guard himself in the place where he is staying on his excursions! The grain will not go any place. “[And] my lord wrote me about an ox for the offering: ‘Have one ox conducted to me, and I shall offer.’ ªThere isº [an ox]. And I was afraid because Zimri-Lim might pass ªhereº and did not have that [ox] conducted (to you). The heart of our lord must not say anything about that!1 “Mislan is well. Your ªbrotherº Yagih-Addu is well. [The troops are well]. We, your servants, are well. ªThe guardº of the wall and the city gates is not being neglected.” 190. ar-ri-ma. On the basis of a suggestion in RGTC 3, “Arru,” Durand identifies the word with yarrum (AHw. jarru “Teich”) and translates in LAPO 17 586m, “en prenant la route des flaches.” 191. eliya itiq. Literally, “he passed on me.” The context indicates “he surprised me.” 192. ri-ki-is-sú-ma. Durand suggests the translation “successivement.” 193. nibªum. Durand defines the word in comment d as “la zone irriguée de façon intermittente.” See also his discussion in “Problèmes d’eau et d’irrigation au royaume de Mari: L’apport des textes anciens,” Bibliotèque archéologique et historique 136 (Paris, 1990), 129–30. My translation is a guess. 194. The translation is based on the interpretation by K. R. Veenhof in NABU 1989 41. The statement probably means that, while the harvest did not look very good, it was not so bad either.

Text 26 171 1.



The idiom possibly means that Sumu-Dabi should not get emotional about the affair.

26 171 To our lord (Sumu-Dabi) speak! Your servants Iluma-Ahum, Yamßi-Hadnu, and Masum (say), “What is this that we write our lord, and he disregards our word? We wrote our lord once, twice, about troops entering Mislan, ªandº our lord (said), ‘Whom do you fear that you keep writing me for troops? When I and my brothers are staying over here, what can this one (Zimri-Lim) undertake against you?’ This our lord wrote us. Did ever a man revive who died of thirst (and) was thrown in a river? They can take the initiative in the end, 195 (but) a dead man does not revive. “Our lord knows: the planted land and the land (watered by) drawing water (from the wells) of Mislan is wide. The planted land of Mislan (extends) up to the city gate of Appan.1 From early morning I [ ] the cultivated zone, and [they] ªgo outº, including boys and girls, and [ ] they draw and draw water. [16 lines] [ ] of wall and city gates [ ] Who would go out [to] ªthe rescueº and face a raider and save boys and girls? As a matter of fact, 196 the extispicies that we keep making for the cultivated zone every two days, three days, are perplexing. 197 Given that our lord does not ªtrustº Yamßi-Hadnu, we (herewith) send our lord the extispicies that we have been making for the cultivated zone, and the diviners of his brothers2 must see them, and our lord must trust us! Now our lord must ªnotº disregard ªourº word. He must speak to his brothers, and they must enlist 3 hundred good troops, and they (the troops) must obtain their travel provisions, which (should be enough to last) until the harvest, and they should ªenter Mislanº, (because) there ªisº no ªstrongº city besides ªMislanº. Otherwise, once [our] ªlordº does not ªdispatch usº troops, he ªcannotº blame us ªin the futureº. We guard [the wall] and the city gates. We are afraid [about] the ªflanksº of the cultivated zone. [If there were] 1 thousand, 2 thousand troops ªthatº would be staying with us, one-half we 198 would leave on the wall, one-half we would send out on rescue missions. “Our ªlord mustº know that [we] ªwroteº our lord 1 time, 10 times. After all, he must not take [us] for ªuntruthfulº men and ªunreliableº servants.” 1. 2.

The point is that Appan was in Zimri-Lim’s hands. The other Yamina leaders who were with Sumu-Dabi.

26 172 To our lord speak! Your servants Iluma-Ahum, Yamßi-Hadnu, and Masum (say), “One man came from Mari [and] spoke to your brother ªYagih-Adduº and us as follows: ‘Ibal-Pi-El went out ªfromº Mari together with [ , and] he ªstayed overnightº in ªDur-Labirumº. He is ªheadedº [for ].’ Your brother Yagih-Addu and we, your servants, heard this and made 195. istu qatam ba-i-tam ippesu. See my note, NABU 1997 113. 196. itti la kêm. My translation is contextual. A semantic bridge from a more literal translation would be “with it not being so” = “as if it were not so.” 197. buppanam abka, literally, “turned on their face.” Durand translates “sont l’exact contraire de ce qu’il faudrait.” 198. Text i-iz-z[i]-ib. A third-person subject is excluded by the context. I assume scribal error for ni-iz-zi-ib.



Text 26 173

reinforcements to the guard of the wall, the city gates and the outposts. And yonder, the city where our ªlordº is staying is not ªin good repairº. 199 Already before an alarm of (the coming of) these troops is heard, our lord must give strict orders to ªguardsº and border guards ªoutsideº. They must ªnotº be ªnegligentº. “Further: One man departed ªfrom º, and [ and] appeared [ ]. He ªarrivedº [here and met] with Yagih-Addu. Yagih-Addu ªaskedº [him, ‘Did you meet] with my brother ªSumu-Dabiº?’ He (said), ‘Because he passed between [ ], and they did not notice ªmeº, I did not meet [with him].’ [2 lines] of ªguardsº [and] border guards is being neglected. If, god forbid, the enemy is not so (disposed), what then? Will he move on? 200 [Our lord] must strengthen the [ ] for the outposts very much. He must not neglect the guard of the wall. Here, [we] are ªveryº concerned about the guard of wall and city gates.”

73– 26 173 To [my lord] (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Laªum (says), “[I listened to] the tablet that my lord ªsentº [me] about ordering extispicies. My ªlord wroteº [me] ªas followsº: ‘[4 lines].’ I am staying in the district of Saggaratum and Terqa. Let him make the extispicies!”

26 174 See van Koppen, “L’expédition à Tilmun et la révolte des bédouins,” MARI 8 (1997), 422.

[To] my ªlordº (Yasmah-Addu) speak! ªYourº servant Samas-Magir (says), “About the messengers—for 4 hundred troops of Reªi-El < >.1 And they touched the forehead of ªReªiElº, and the extispicies were not sound. My lord must write me, so or not so. After (the arrival of) this tablet, Hulalum will arrive before my lord.” 1.

The sentence is not complete. Durand restores , which would make SamasMagir a diviner; also possible is , which would make him an official. The plural subject of the following sentence must refer to diviners, because a diviner touches the forehead of the person for whom an extispicy is made (26 114).

26 175 To my lord Yasmah-Addu speak! Your servant Sassaranum (says), “They made extispicies in Apqum about bringing grain into Maskurhum, and the extispicies were sound. I will go. I will have the grain brought in. And I will arrive from Maskurhum and have extispicies done for the city of Íarbat, and, if the extispicies are sound, I will approach Íarbat.”

26 176 = 6 64+ = LAPO 17 620 Durand states that the historical background of the letter is the revolt of the Yamina. The Mariotes apparently lost a border skirmish and had to scramble to raise enough troops to defend themselves.

199. So, according to Durand’s reading, ku-u[ß-ßú-ur]. 200. I follow Durand’s segmentation, ul ke-em ma-a i-it-ti-iq. Durand translates “(the enemy) n’est pas dans cette disposition, hé bien, il franchira (notre territoire).”

Text 26 177

26 177



ªToº my lord speak! Your servant Bahdi-Lim (says), “About the fact that the enemy has pushed the border guards out of the way and enlisted as many troops as could be enlisted, concerning which my lord wrote me—about these things my lord need not. . . . 201 They are enlisting border guards from the shock troops and enlisting (additional) ªtroopsº,1 and my lord 202 must ªkeep catering to the wishesº 203 of Dagan, Samas, and Addu about these things. As long as my lord keeps catering to the wishes of Dagan, Samas, and Addu, my lord must not hurry to do battle, and my lord must not ª 204º that enemy. He must . . . him. 205 ªWhenº Dagan, Samas, and Addu, these gods, have answered you with yes and ªyourº extispicies [are sound], then my lord [must do] battle! Since all is well with [ ] ªdistrictº, my lord need not [be concerned]. Let my lord ªdepartº! . . . 206 in the hand of my lord, [and] I [ ] in view of your extispicies. “And what are these things that my lord would walk among lightly armed [troops], among border guards? ªSinceº my ªheartº became concerned, I did not ªabandonº guarding (my lord’s) person. Why would my lord ªwalkº [ ] together with lightly armed border guards? My lord ªmustº [walk] among shock troops. “Further: There were soldiers on furlough among the troops. And I alerted 207 as many troops as they (my informers) saw in the cities that they mentioned to me and dispatched (the soldiers on furlough back to their post). My lord must tighten the orders for generals and division commanders, and they must concern themselves (with this). And they must not release troops from their authority (at such times).” 1.

“They” refers probably to the Mariotes. As Durand noted, the statements mean strengthening the force of border guards by drawing soldiers from the shock troops as the first countermove. Then more troops would be enlisted to bring the shock troops up to full strength again.

26 177 = 6 75 = LAPO 18 948 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Bahdi-Lim (says), “[I] had ªextispiciesº done for the well-being of the troops and dispatched the troops in light of ªsound extispiciesº. [And] herewith [I] ªhaveº sent my lord those extispicies. [And] I have dispatched ªa divinerº. [ ] half a mile [ ]. He will stay overnight [ ] Zarri. [2 lines].” 201. la i-ha-ad-da-ar. Durand translates “ne doit pas être découragé” in LAPO, referring to his discussion of the verb hadarum in comment d to LAPO 16 214 = 2 106. The bundle of verbs— adarum with stem vowels u/a and u/u (atanaddur in 26 298:7); hadarum with u/a or a/a (ihaddar in 26 176:6) and i/i (ahhaddir in 26 384:25u); and hatarum with i/i (ihattir in 26 475:11) and u/u (ahattur in 26 493:13)—is a subject for further study. For hadarum i/i N, see n. 500 to 26 385. 202. If Durand’s restoration b[e-lí] at the end of line 8 is correct, the word is written erroneously twice in the same phrase. 203. panam itaplusum means literally, “to observe the face,” which would seem a good translation here. But other contexts, especially 26 282, suggest the given translation. 204. Durand transliterates i?-x-du and suggests the translation “affronte.” 205. itabbulum litabbalsu; Durand, “afin de pouvoir en faire ce qu’il veut,” which is explained in comment d of his edition in 26/1. I think the phrase means that Zimri-Lim should exercise patience. 206. Durand restores . . . ªaº-[na-ku-ma] “Je suis à la disposition de mon Seigneur.” 207. The causative of nahadum is usually expressed with the D-stem and not, as here, the S-stem.


26 178


Text 26 178

26 178 and 179 treat the question of the residence of an incoming ugbabtum priestess of Dagan in Terqa. Her identity is not known. She was the highest-ranking female cleric of Dagan. For more details, see FM 4 (1999), 49.

26 178 = 3 42 = LAPO 18 958 To ªmy lord speakº! [Your] ªservant Kibri-Daganº (says), “Dagan and ªYakrub-Elº are well. The city of Terqa and the district are well. “Further: ªAsº my lord ªwroteº me ªsome time agoº, I had extispicies done ªaboutº the quarters where the ªugbabtum ofº Dagan will live, and my extispicies for the quarters of the former ugbabtum were straight. And the god answered me with yes, and I set hand to putting those quarters in order 208 and to inspecting the damage. The ugbabtum, whom my lord will take along to Dagan, can live in those quarters.”

26 179 = 3 84 = LAPO 18 959 [To] my lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Kibri-Dagan (says), “[Some] time ago I had [extispicies] done for the quarters of the former ugbabtum, and my extispicies were straight. [And the god] answered me with ªyesº. [This] I wrote. Now we, [I and] Samas-Naßir, ªconsultedº, and (we said), “It is not suited for the dwelling of the ugbabtum. Weaver women, walkers, and craftsmen, ªhowever many there are, 209 are stayingº [in] ªthatº [ ]. ª6 linesº.’ 210 This we made the result of our consultation. The dwelling is not the right thing. [It] is (too) near to the courtyard of the palace. I had extispicies done ªforº the place where the pastry-cook Kundulatum lives, and my extispicies were straight. And the god answered me with yes. And he is ªcompletelyº gratified with the ugbabtum staying there. My lord must consult on those quarters, and I shall prepare the quarters for the (arrival) of the ugbabtum ªaccordingº to the counsel that my lord reaches in consultation and writes me. My lord must write me a full report, so or not so, and I shall make the arrangements.”

26 180 The letter is an important source for understanding the system of pasturing. See pp. 30–32. Note that the pasture animals were not exclusively ovine (the term “sheep” includes goats) but also bovine.

To my lord speak! Your [servant] Ibal-Pi-El (says), “As the encampment is settling in, I ªagainº had extispicies done in 4 ªrounds for the well-beingº of the encampment. ªRound one I had doneº for the encampment of the steppe, [and] ªthe extispiciesº that were for the encampment of ªthe steppe were soundº. I had the second round done for the encampment ªthatº is settled [on] ªthe east sideº of Saggar and on the west side, and the extispicies that were for the ªencampmentº that is settled in Saggar1 were bad. I ªkept back sheepº [and cattle] (from that area). And so far [no] ªhostilityº2 has happened, but I cannot [ ] ªthe encampmentº. [ ] Sir Hammu-Rabi (of Kurda) [ ] is not so (disposed). As soon as ªpastureº 208. Durand considers the possibility that sutesurum simply means “to sweep.” 209. ma-l[i i-ba-as-su]-ú. 210. Fully restored by Durand.

Text 26 181



becomes available [for sheep] and cattle, and I can move that ªencampmentº, [I] will write Hammu-Rabi favorable ªwordsº. [As] ªthirdº [round] I ªhad extispicies doneº [for] ªthe encampmentº [that] ªis settledº [ ] ªto Gassumº, and [the extispicies] ªwere soundº. As fourth round I had ªextispiciesº done [for] ªthe well-beingº of Gassum up to ªthe encampmentº of Sarrum-Kin and up to . . . 211 [ ], and the extispicies were ªveryº [ ]. “[The extispicies] of the encampment of Saggar were bad ªfor pastureº.”3 1. 2. 3.

“On the east/west side of Saggar” and “in Saggar” describe the same area. “On the east/west side of ” accordingly denotes the eastern and western halves of Saggar, not areas beyond Saggar. Between migrating Hana and indigenous Numha. The last statement of the letter reverts to the problem of bad omens for the encampment in Saggar. It implies that the extispicies for the other three encampments were unproblematic.

26 181 [To my lord speak]! Your ªservant Ilaº-[ ] (says), “Some time ago I had extispicies done for the month until the 15th day. My extispicies were sound. Now I had extispicies done for (the period) from the [15th] day until the end of the month, and my extispicies were sound. They ªcontainº no cause for concern. My lord need not be concerned. “Further: There is no ªgrainº in the palace and the houses of ªthe commonersº. Now, ªasº allies go with my lord, my lord must strengthen (his) hand against Mislan, and my ªlordº must do what is necessary to obtain from that city 1 thousand (liters) 212 of grain for the palace. [I have] ªwrittenº a token of my servitude ªtoº my lord. My lord [must] act [according to his kingship].”

26 182 [To my lord speak]! ªYourº [servant] ªSumu-Hadu (says), “The divinersº perform extispicies all the time for ªliftingº the feet, 213 and the extispicies are not straight. Herewith I have sent a lock of my head and hem my garment to my lord. My lord must instruct the diviners. He must be strict, and they must search the source. 214 My lord may . . . 215 me ªfor/inº this! ª º of my foot ª5 linesº.” 211. la-hu-mu-[. 212. Durand shows that nondesignation of a measure stands for the base-measure, which in the present case is parisu = qa (“Question de chiffres,” MARI 5 [1987], 605). The grain was needed to feed the allied troops. 213. Durand understands this as an idiom for departing. But something appears to be wrong with Sumu-Hadu’s foot. Note that problems with “feet”—or “legs”; the word sepum serves both—were common. 214. qatatim. Durand, 26/1, 47 with n. 226, understands qatum as oracular inquiry (here translated “round”) and saharum as a synonym for târum, and translates “afin qu’ils reprennent leurs donnes.” My interpretation is motivated by a different understanding of the semantic field of saharum (not “redo”) and based on the use of the word “hand” (concretely “touch”) as the source of a disease. 215. li-ir-si-en-ni. Durand, in NABU 1987 80, proposes the verb rasûm III with stem vowel i, distinct from rasûm with stem vowel u, for which see LAPO 17 474e, and meaning “to let oneself



Text 26 183

26 183 To my lord speak! Your servant Sumhu-Rabi (says), “The party of Hammu-Takim, Babylonian messengers who go to Kurda, arrived in Saggaratum, and I had extispicies done for the well-being of [their] ªvoyageº on the big road of the east side of ªthe bank of the Haburº. The extispicies were ªsoundº. In view of the [sound] ªextispiciesº, I ªdispatched thoseº men and with them ªMarduk-Naßirº together with 2 hundred [troops]. And [I] ªhadº [extispicies] ªdoneº for 5 days for the march of the troops [and] their return,1 and [2 lines].” 1.

These are the escort troops. They accompanied the Babylonian messengers to the border with Kurda and returned to Saggaratum. The high number of troops is remarkable.

26 184 To my lord speak! Your servant Itur-Asdu (says), “About the clod concerning which my lord wrote me—herewith I have sent a clod of Urgis, Aslakka, and Suruzum to my lord. My lord must make the extispicy over those clods.”

26 185 To ªmyº lord speak! Your maid Siptu (says), “ªThe palace is well. I offeredº the offerings for ªthe descent of Ninhursangaº. In ªthoseº extispicies the outlook . . . 216 ª. . . 217º. [I] ªhad extispicies doneº for ªthe well-beingº [of my lord. They were sound]. And the god [2 lines] that I ªtoldº, they kept ªmakingº extispicies. Those extispicies were ªsoundº. My lord is well, and he can ªgo safelyº to Mari. Somebody, ªwho talksº forthrightly with my lord, will move away from the person of ªmyº lord, and my ªlordº will be angered. “Further: The boys [of ] are ill. And [ ] of my lord [ ]. My lord must dispatch the exorcist Mut-[ ].”

26 185-bis = 10 134+ = LAPO 18 1145 26 212 may be the answer to this letter. For the topic of the disposition of officials’ households, see my article in ASJ 19 (1997), 69 and 77, and van Koppen, “Seized,” 331; for the second paragraph, see also 13 97.

To Siptu speak! Your lord (says), “About the belongings of the house of Bunuma-Addu, concerning which you wrote me—I listened to the tablet (listing) his belongings that you sent me. Release all the goods of the household, the grain, however much there is, the 50 dikes of choice field-area, and the silver of his gods,1 however much, as you wrote me. And they must give two-thirds of the 21 (members of) his personnel to his household and take one-third for the palace. And the equids of his chariot were (already) given to Samas-In-Matim. ªThoseº equids must (now) be entrusted (formally) ªtoº the household of Samas-In-Matim. be convinced, to give in.” He translates here “que mon seigneur se rende à mes prières.” The accusative does not easily fit his suggestion. 216. na-ba-a[l-k]u-ut. Durand, “dépassait.” According to Leiderer, 28, the condition described by this verb may be found in the center of the outlook. Her translation follows AHw., “sich umwenden.” There is no anatomic identification for this feature so far. 217. Durand suggests the restoration s[u-me-lam] “left” or ªiº-[mi-tam] “right.”

spred is 12 points long

Text 26 186



“Further: About Atamrum, about whom you asked (the gods), and (because of whom) you sent me Abi-Sadi with that2 report—Abi-Sadi arrived and spoke to me. That man (Atamrum), who brought evil upon us—a god has called him to account. Now ask about the Babylonian Hammu-Rabi. Will that man die? Does he talk forthrightly with us? Will he wage war against us? Will he come up, 218 and will he besiege us? How? Ask about that man! When you have asked once, turn around, ask a second time! The message concerning him, whatever you ask, write (it) to me!” 1.


Durand considers the possibility that “silver of the god” designates a quality of silver but suggests that here it is silver that had been promised to the gods. He does not consider the question of how the gods kept their silver. Was it perhaps the silver plating of their images? See also van Koppen, “Seized,” 318–19. The report of Siptu’s inquiries about Atamrum is what is meant.

26 186 “[n lines]. [I had extispicies done] for the well-being of the city of ªMariº. The diviners ªspokeº as follows: ‘The extispicies are ªmixedº. Concern yourself with the guard of ªthe cityº and ªthe bank ofº [the Euphrates]! Our ªextispiciesº are not [sound]. And ªgiveº us lambs, and we shall repeat a round (of extispicies) the next day and do (them).’ Now [I sent] ªthe extispiciesº that I sealed the earlier day [ to] my lord. And [ ] for the city of ªMariº, [ ], the houses of the gods [and the prisons].”

26 188 [To my lord speak! Your] servant [PN] (says), “I had extispicies done for the ªwell-being of Yabliyaº of the left bank1 for one month, and the extispicies were very sound, and I had them done for the well-being of the district of ªYabliyaº of the left bank and ªthe right bank, fromº Harbe ªtoº [Mulhan 219 for] 1 month, ªand the extispicies were soundº [9 lines].” 1.

The city of Yabliya may have consisted of different quarters. “Yabliya-Rock-City” in 26 480 may have been one, “Yabliya-of-the-Left-Bank” another.

26 189 See 27 16 and FM 2 71, where the depletion of grain stores by garrison troops and Yamina is also mentioned. Birot suggests in comment k of 27 16 that the present letter was sent by Ilsu-Naßir, governor of Qa††unan.

“[n lines]. ‘[I] had [extispicies] ªdoneº [for] ªthe well-being of the district. Myº [extispicies] were bad. I gathered (the population of) the district in the strongholds. From the extispicies (I could see that) the aspirations of the enemy are (directed) ªatº the city of Qa††unan. They. . . .’ 220 ªThisº the diviner said to me, and [I] ªgatheredº [ ] in the strongholds. ª7 linesº.” 218. e-el-le-e-em may write the 1st- and 3d-person singular. Durand suggests a scenario for the 1st person in his comment h. I choose the 3d person because otherwise the sequence of 3dperson forms is interrupted. 219. Restoration of Charpin, NABU 1995 86. 220. ú-ka-sa. The D stem of akasum means “oust/chase/drive away.” Durand corrects to ú-kasa- “visaient.” But the common meanings of that verb do not fit well either. The feminine plural ending refers to “aspirations.”



Text 26 190

“Further: [ ] of my lord is ªnearº. And grain is not available. The sons of Yamina and the garrison troops who stayed there have used up the grain. If it had not been for them, there would have been on the contrary 221 much grain [n lines].”

26 190 “[n lines] ª º about the march of the troops and ªdoingº [battle] I continually devise (oracular inquires), but an omen does not answer me. And now I will dispatch the troops and keep all the gear before me, instead of (trying to) understand and ask (the right question)—and may the god of my lord let our campaign succeed! 222 Unless a man from among the servants of my lord comes (as) agent, and I can then entrust the gear (to him), I will not release the gear to anybody. [n lines].”

26 191, 192, and 194 are correspondence between Zimri-Lim and gods.


26 191 = Dossin, Syria 19 (1938), 126 To my lord River speak! Your servant Zimri-Lim (says), “Herewith I send a golden cup to my lord. Some time ago, I wrote my lord my message. My lord let [me] ªseeº a sign. May my lord complement the sign that he let ªmeº see! And may my lord not ªtireº of guarding [my] ªlifeº! May my lord not turn [his] ªfaceº to the place of another! May my lord not need another besides me!”

26 192 Collection of divine letters to Zimri-Lim.

[To Zimri-Lim speak! DN (says),] “I will return you. Your [ ] roars in. . . . 223 I dispatched my strong ªweapons ahead ofº you. 224 And I dispatched 7 nets1 to cast ªonº the Elamites. ªFromº the 15th day (of the month) until the [nth] day, you (have time to) ªget ready for the struggleº, and [4 lines].” [To] ªZimri-Lim speakº! Estar ªNinet2 (says), “Withº my ªstrongº weapons I stand by you. Build for me a bedstead house in Mari. I instruct you as follows: I (say), “When you are one double-hour from your enemies, make haste, light a fire, and the vizier Habdu-Malik ªmustº extinguish it.’ ” ªToº Zimri-Lim ªspeakº! Samas (says), “When you enter ªMariº [7 lines].”

221. nabalkat. Durand translates “en excédent.” My translation is a guess. 222. eserum is an intransitive verb, and a correction of li-si-ir to li-si-ir in the text is inevitable. 223. ina bi-it-qa-ti-im isaggum. Durand reads the verb i-sa-kum and translates “j’ai pour toi ton . . . au milieu des pertes.” Perhaps bitqatum is the plural of bitqum “dike break.” bit qatim is unlikely. Bit would be written é, and a “house of the hand” is unattested. 224. [a-n]a panika can have a negative connotation of “against you,” but the context indicates a positive connotation of “to meet you.” Durand translates “à tes devants.” I choose the restoration [i-n]a and translate accordingly.

Text 26 194 1. 2.



The image of gods collecting humans in a net is already depicted on the Stele of Vultures from circa 2400 b.c. The underlying belief was that gods occasionally hunt humans. It would be surprising if the goddess was Istar of Nineveh because that city was not on friendly terms with Mari at the time. OBRT 200, a list of expenditures for offerings in Qa††ara, includes an offering for Estar Ninet, implying that there was a cult image of Estar Ninet in Qa††ara. Perhaps this is the Estar Ninet in the present text, or perhaps the cult of this goddess had spread to a third place.

26 193 is a writing exercise of mostly unrelated signs, words, and phrases.

26 194 See 26 414.

ªTo Zimri-Lim speakº! The respondent1 ªof Samasº (says), “Samas (says), ‘[I am] lord of ªthe landº. A great chair as ªseat ofº [my] ªplenitudeº and your ªdaughterº,2 which I request from you—let them be rushed quickly to Sippir, ªcityº of life. ªHerewithº [I deliver] ªintoº your ªhandº the kings who ªstood againstº [you] and [ ]. ªFrom hereº . . . 225 in the land is given [you]. And before the defeat [I] ªsentº you Kanisan (with a message) about the taboo of Addu.3 Gather up the taboo, all of it, and [let] them bring it [to] ªHalabº to the house of Addu! ªThe giftº for Dagan, [which] ªthe respondentº mentioned ªto you, provide thisº! [2 lines]. “ ‘ªFurther: Nergal, kingº of Hubsalum, ªstoodº in the defeat by your ªsideº and the side of your army. Have whatever you pledged and a great bronze sword made and let them bring it to Nergal, king of Hubsalum!’4 “And further: Samas (says), ‘Hammu-Rabi, king of Kurda, ªtoldº you lies, and his hand is set in the place of another. 226 Your hand will [catch him] and you will ªcancelº debts inside [his] land.5 And ªtherewithº the land, ªall of it, will beº given into your hand. ªAs you seizeº the city, [and] (as you) cancel debts, . . . 227 your kingship ªwill be long lasting for itº. “ ‘[And] ªfurtherº: Let Zimri-Lim, the regent of ªDaganº and Addu, listen to ªthis tabletº, and let him ªsend litigantsº to my feet.’ ”6 1.


“Respondent” is the literal translation of apilum. It designates a cleric who was linked to a particular god. Respondents were mostly male, even if the deity they served was female (26 208). A female respondent is mentioned in 26 204. The literal meaning indicates the function of interlocutor of a god and/or of a person seeking communication with a god. The respondent occasionally delivered a divine message as if he were the god himself, referring to divine acts in the first person (for example, 26 195, “I trample underfoot”). In the present letter he quotes the god. For more detail, see Durand 26/1, 386–94. The Samas temple in Sippir (Abu Habba) owned a cloister for women who were married to Samas, celibate on the human level, and hence called naditum “barren.” They often came from prominent families. For details, see R. Harris, “The Naditu Woman,” Studies Presented to A. Leo

225. gisgur-na-[tum]. Durand, “le bûcher sur lequel on brûle les cadavres des vaincus.” I find it difficult to believe that such an expensive method of disposing enemy bodies would have been practiced. 226. qassu asar sanêm saknat. This is apparently an idiom. Perhaps it expresses a discrepancy between the words and actions of Hammu-Rabi. The “other” could be Isme-Dagan. 227. Durand reads [ak-ke]-em, which would mean “in the same measure.”



4. 5.


26 195


Text 26 195

Oppenheim (Chicago, 1964), 106–35. It is for this cloister that Samas wants a daughter of ZimriLim. Durand states in comment f that the defeat of Zimri-Lim’s enemy must be meant here, even if this contradicts normal usage of the word in Mari. Guichard, Guerre, 42, follows this interpretation. The “taboo” was the part of the booty that was consecrated to Addu. The sword for Nergal was a customary gift. An actual sword whose inscription identifies it as a gift to the lord of Hubsalum has been found. See Charpin, NABU 1987 76. It was the custom for Mesopotamian kings to cancel debts and free slaves at the beginning of their reign. Samas appears here as sponsor of the custom. His request implies that Zimri-Lim is assuming the kingship of Kurda. See Charpin, NABU 1991 102. Samas was the god of law. The divine request for litigants demonstrates that a king, even a king whose territory did not include Sippir, could delegate a trial to him. It is remarkable that jurisdiction was solicited.

26 195–221-bis, possibly also 222, are letters that include reports of prophecies. Durand grouped them according to their historical setting. This topic is also treated by Charpin, “Prophéties.” Letters 195–206 relate to the so-called “Yamina revolt” and the war with Esnuna early in Zimri-Lim’s reign.

26 195 = 10 53 = LAPO 18 1096 Moran, ANET 3 632v.

[To] my lord ªspeakº! Your ªmaidº Addu-Duri (says), “ªThe respondentº in the house of Hisamitum, Ißi-Ahu is his name, ªrose andº (said), ‘ªAfterº you (left) they were eating your ªfoodº [and] ªdrinking from your cupº. Your ªantagonists keep bringing outº ungood [and] ªevil things aboutº you. I trample them underfoot [n lines].’ [n lines].”

26 196 Sasson, “Apocalypticism,” 287–88. Durand, 26/1, 385, suggests that the passage about the interaction of gods is the report of a dream.

To my lord speak! Your servant Samas-Naßir (says), “When my lord set [his] sight on the campaign, he instructed me as follows: ‘You are staying in the city of the god. If ªa prediction happensº in the house of the god and you hear it, write ªtoº me!’ ªSinceº that ªdayº any [7 lines. Dagan spoke as follows: ‘Let] them call [Tispak]! I shall issue ªa decreeº.’ They called Tispak, and Dagan spoke to Tispak as follows: ‘Since . . . 228 you have ruled the land. Now your day has come. 229 You will accept your day as (did) Ekallatum.’ This ªhe saidº before

228. The signs are difficult to recognize. Sasson reads Si-na-ahki. 229. ú-ut-ka. Durand proposes seeing the Sumerian word u d “day” in it. Note that u d in Sumerian may denote specifically the last day, or the day of death, for which, see A. D. Kilmer, “Speculations on Umul, the First Baby,” AOAT 25 (1976), 265. Durand’s translation of ittalkam as “est passé” and Sasson’s “has departed” assume that the ta infix designates perfect tense and movement from the speaker at the same time. I understand the form as the perfect of alakum with ventive = “to come.”

Text 26 197



Dagan and Yakrub-El. Hanat (said), ‘Do not neglect 230 (enforcement of) the decree that you gave!’1 “ªFurtherº: The grain of the plows2 of the palace ªofº the province of Terqa is brought into Terqa.” 1.

26 197


The break in the central part of the letter severely compromises comprehension. In the passage after the break, a speaker facing Dagan relates an event in which Dagan acts, a situation for which a scenario is difficult to find. Durand tried to evade it by translating “cela (c’était) devant Dagan et Yakrub-El a dit . . . ,” but this leaves the accusative annitam “this” unexplained. K. van der Toorn proposes in NABU 1998 2 that the speaker was a prophet impersonating Dagan. He understands the words of the goddess Hanat as spoken by another prophet and concludes that the whole passage reports a theatrical performance by prophets, who are acting out a discussion between gods whose statues stood together in the sanctuary of Dagan’s temple in Terqa. I agree with van der Toorn that the speaker facing Dagan and Yakrub-El was a prophet. Yet this prophet, rather than acting as the god, may have received a vision when he was in a trance or was dreaming, facing the statues of Dagan and Yakrub-El, reporting his vision or dream in situ. Since the writer of the letter, Samas-Naßir, was reporting about the ecstatic to Zimri-Lim, the words of Dagan were a quotation within a quotation. The scenario is not completely satisfactory either, because the words of Hanat are reported after the report on the vision before Dagan and Yakrub-El. I can only explain it by faulting Samas-Naßir: he failed to place these words in their proper context and did not correct himself, as he might have, by adding “And the ecstatic also said . . . ,” or something in this vein. That is, the grain harvested by the palace’s plow units. See the introduction to 26 76.

26 197 = 10 80 = LAPO 18 1203 Moran, ANET 3 632x.

To My Star1 speak! Inibsina (says), “Some time ago, the pederast Selebum2 gave me a directive, and I wrote you. Now one shock-head3 of ªDaganº of Terqa ªcameº and spoke to me ªasº follows: She (said), ‘The peace offers of the ªEsnunakeanº are deceit. Water runs below chaff.4 And I will collect him (the Esnunakean) in the net that I knot. I will erase his city. And his wealth, which is from old, I will cause to be utterly defiled.’ 231 This she said to me. Now guard yourself! Do not enter inside the city without extispicy! I heard the following: ‘He scintillates 232 all by himself.’ Do not scintillate all by yourself!” 1. 2.

Women close to Zimri-Lim, here his sister Inibsina, affectionately called him “My Star.” Selebum belonged to the temple of Annunitum, so the “directive” comes from Annunitum.

230. ta-na-ad-di-in is erroneous for ta-na-ad-di, perhaps influenced by ta-ad-di-nu in the previous line. 231. J. Cooper, in a letter dated 5/23/97, points out that su-ul-pu-ut usalpat cannot be a paranomastic infinitive construction, because it should be sulputum(ma) usalpat. He reads la (instead of Dossin’s {ßu}) sulput and translates “And his wealth, which is from old, was not destroyed—I shall destroy it.” Paranomastic infinitives are construed as accusatives in the Assyrian dialect (see GAG §150a). So the form could be transcribed as sulputam and explained as an Assyrianism. 232. istanarrar. Durand reviews the various translations in his comment e and translates “il ne cesse de chercher à s’illustrer.” Cooper, in the letter dated 5/23/97, suggests “acts precipitously.” I adopt Sasson’s translation in “Messages,” 306. The statement is surely about Zimri-Lim.

252 3.



Text 26 198

Shock-heads were females who went into trances. Their Akkadian designation is qammatum, which I derive from the verb qamamum. It designates hair standing up; hence, my translation. I suspect that they kept their hair unkempt, a widely attested practice of religious devotees. The image is of water whose surface is hidden under a cover of chaff, as happens at the time of winnowing. See my note, NABU 1996 45 (2). The same prophecy is quoted in 26 199, and the same image is used in another prophecy (26 202). The variations in reporting the prophecy are discussed by Sasson, “Water.”

26 198 “[n lines] ªZimri-Limº [ ] they search. 2 ªramsº [ ]. “Further: Selebum [ , and ] he spoke as follows: [He (said), “ ] . . . 233 beer with [ ]. When [ ] on fire and (when) ªthey gaveº [me] ªporridgeº like flour in a . . . 234 I ªobservedº 235 [ ] prior to my (departure). Twice since I came right up to ª 236º, now for the third [time], they 237 occupied the house. And I am staying ªvery muchº in excrement and urine.1 And I eat ªthe reedº of a ªfoundationº2 [n lines] the mouth of Selebum [ ]. Now, herewith [I send] hair and hem of ªSelebumº3 [2 lines].” 1.

2. 3.

The complaints of Selebum are in line with the lot decreed to pederasts by the queen of the netherworld in Istar’s Descent to the Netherworld, 104–5 (see M. Malul, NABU 1993 99): “May scraps of food from the city garbage dumps be your food. May your drink come from the sewer pipes of the city.” For the homosexual nature of the assinnum, here translated “pederast,” see J. Bottéro and H. Petschow’s article “Homosexualität” in RLA; and Durand, 26/1, 395. Durand now thinks that the pederast may in fact be a eunuch (LAPO 18 1137a). Probably a bulrush is meant. The plant is commonly found on low ground and in abandoned excavations. The lower part of its stalk is edible. Hair and hem were needed for extispicies that were made to check on the veracity of divine messages communicated by prophets.

26 199 Charpin, “Prophéties,” 23–24; Sasson, “Water,” 600–603. In his note on the text, Durand connects the letter with M.11436 of 7 VIII 6 (26/1, 396), which records the expense of a shekel of silver “for Lupahum, the respondent of Dagan, when he went to Tuttul.” Charpin, “Traité,” 164–65, connects it with the treaty between Mari and Esnuna that was established two months earlier.

To my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “Lupahum, the respondent of Dagan, arrived from Tuttul. The message with which my lord instructed him in Saggaratum, (namely), ‘Entrust 238 me to Dagan of Terqa,’ he conveyed that message, and they answered 233. idatum. 234. musihtum. Since the root sih means “grow tall,” this may have been a high-necked vessel, which would make eating from it very difficult. 235. Translated according to Durand’s reading a-a†-†ú-[ul-ma]. Also possible is a-ad-du-[ú-ma] “I dropped.” 236. Durand reads na-ak-[ri-im]. Also possible is na-ak-[ka-am-tim] “up to ªthe storeº.” 237. Feminine plural. 238. Durand, 26/1, 388, understands the form piqdanni here on the basis of the term piqittum “verification” of an extispicy, translating “fais la contre-épreuve,” and rejects the translation

spread is 6 points long

Text 26 199



him as follows: ‘Wherever you go, ªyou will encounterº favor of heart. Battering ram and tower are given to you. They will go by your side and keep you company.’ With this message they answered him in Tuttul. And as of his arrival, I let him come along to Dir, and he brought bolts 239 to Diritum. In the past, he had brought a sernum, (saying), ‘The sernum is not tight, and it is moist. Strengthen the sernum!’1 Now he brought bolts. And written was the following: ‘I (Dagan) am afraid you (Diritum) trust in the peace of the Esnunakean, and you weary. Your guards must be stronger than in the past.’ ªAndº he (Lupahum) mentioned to me (the full message of Dagan) as follows: ‘I am afraid the king will commit himself to the ªEsnunakeanº without asking a god, as some time ago, when ªthe sons of Yaminaº came down and stayed in Saggaratum. And I spoke to the king. I (said), “Do not kill stallions of the sons of Yamina! I will dispatch them from the . . . 240 of their nests. And the river will complete (the task) for you.” ªNowº, he (Zimri-Lim) must not ªcommit himselfº without ªasking the godº.’ This message Lupahum told me. 241 2 “After his departure, on the second ªdayº, a shock-head of Dagan of ªTerqaº came to me, and she spoke [to me] as follows: ‘Water ªrunsº below chaff. [They] keep writing [you] for peace, [and] they will dispatch their gods [to you]. And they plot a second ruse 242 in their heart. The king must not commit himself without asking the god.’ She requested a straight ewe-wool garment 243 and a nose-rope,3 and I ªgaveº it to her. And she delivered her piqdanni ana Dagan “confie-moi à Dagan” as “jeu de mots sur le français.” Sasson translates “investigate for me (the oracles) before Dagan,” but ana Dagan cannot mean “before Dagan.” The expression “to entrust PN1 to PN2” (paqadum + PN1 in the accusative ana PN2) is a common, unproblematic variation of the fuller phrase “to entrust PN1 to the hand/authority of PN2.” Typically, the person who is entrusted to someone remains physically under the latter’s authority. Here, PN2 is a god, and “entrusting” probably denotes “placing Zimri-Lim under Dagan’s authority,” or, since Zimri-Lim surely understood himself to be under Dagan’s authority, “affirming his status as being under Dagan’s authority.” 239. sikkuri. Durand understands the form as singular with the possessive suffix of the firstperson singular. I understand it as plural. 240. hu-BU-ur-re-e. Durand derives it from habarum “emigrate” and translates “je les (r)enverrai au milieu du dispersement de leurs nids.” The context suggests the meaning “shelter.” Perhaps it belongs to haparum “to encompass.” Anbar, NABU 1993 67, interprets the passage on the basis of huburum “din” in Atra-Hasis. 241. Charpin sees in the preceding speech comments of Lupahum on the inscription of the bolt. The concluding statement, †emam annêm Lupahum idbubam “this message Lupahum told me,” indicates that Lupahum was relating a message. If the words were Lupahum’s comments, the subscript should have been annitam PN iqbêm/idbubam “this PN said to/told me.” Furthermore, the words have a poetic ring, which is characteristic of the style of many divine messages. On the other hand, the message is not introduced as such, and the words in fact appear to be those of Lupahum. To remove the difficulty, I assume that Lupahum’s speech is a quotation of Dagan’s full message to Diritum. 242. sa-ra-am, literally, “wind.” Durand translates “traitrise.” Anbar, NABU 1997 15, refers to AHw. saru I 7c and translates “mensonge.” Anbar also suggests that the first “mensonge” happened the previous year, when Esnuna threatened to take over the area of Yamutbal and Idamaraß. Perhaps the god saw the Esnunakean peace initiative as a first ruse and was warning of a second ruse in the future. 243. laharûm. The translation is a guess, based on lahrum = “ewe.” See Birot’s comment to 27 161.



Text 26 199

instruction in the house of Belet Ekallim to ªInibsina, wifeº [of Addu]. They told me ª(this) newsº [on ], and I wrote to my lord. My lord must consider and act according to his great kingship. “And about the regular Yanßib-Dagan, a Dasranite, concerning whom my lord wrote me to cut off his head—I right away sent Abi-Epuh. They did not see that man, and he (AbiEpuh) delivered his household and ªhis people into slaveryº. The next day a tablet of YasimDagan ªarrivedº, (saying), ‘That man has arrived.’ Now my lord must write [me], so or not so, [and] I shall release his people.”4 1.




The imperative form is feminine. Sasson concludes that the words are directed to the goddess. Yet would a cleric be giving an order to his god in the imperative, and furthermore blame her for the malfunctioning of an instrument of divination? It seems more likely that Lupahum is addressing a female cleric of Diritum. The geographical and chronological frame of the first paragraph of the letter is difficult to comprehend. Here is my interpretation: The first event was a meeting between Zimri-Lim and Lupahum in Saggaratum, at which time the king asked Lupahum “to entrust him” to Dagan of Terqa. Lupahum complied by “conveying the message.” The process of entrustment may have been the whole message, or else a particular message, not spelled out by Sammetar, accompanied the entrustment. The next thing we learn is that unidentified persons informed Lupahum of Dagan’s response in Tuttul. This is quite unexpected. Why would the answer come from Tuttul when the message was delivered to Dagan of Terqa, and why did the respondent of Dagan have no direct access to a response by Dagan of Tuttul? As so often happens, the letter does not seem to give the whole story. I fill in the blanks with the following tentative scenario: Lupahum went to Dagan in Terqa. Dagan told him to go to Tuttul where he would be given a response to the “entrustment” of Zimri-Lim. His trip to Tuttul was an affair of state of some importance, and he was presented with one shekel of silver for the occasion (M.11436). In Tuttul, Lupahum received the response. The fact that it was transmitted to him by unidentified operatives of Dagan of Tuttul indicates a pronounced distinctiveness of Dagan of Tuttul from Dagan of Terqa. A respondent of Dagan in Terqa apparently did not ex officio receive a message from Dagan of Tuttul. On his way to Dir, which is south of Mari, Lupahum stopped over in Terqa, after which he continued in the company of governor Sammetar. Sammetar reported that Lupahum brought “bolts” because a sernum that he had brought in the past had malfunctioned. The implication is that Lupahum had gone to Dir before, possibly on a regular basis, and that he had a specific mission for which he needed to use a sernum or, as in the present case, “bolts.” On it was written a message from Dagan. It addressed a female, surely the goddess Diritum, exhorting her not to trust the Esnunakean side by ratifying a pending peace treaty with Mari. Lupahum told Sammetar another divine message in which the king was warned again, but in different words, against trusting Esnuna. The message could have come from Dagan, but the fact that Lupahum informed Sammetar of it in Dir, after having brought a message from Dagan to Diritum, indicates that it was Diritum’s answer. The shock-head of Dagan of Terqa communicated her message to the governor of Terqa. From Terqa she went to Mari and communicated her message to Inibsina in the sanctuary of BeletEkallim, the “Lady-of-the-Palace.” The sanctuary was “presque sûrement” located in the palace of Mari (Durand, “Palais,” 90). Before going to Mari, she requested a garment and a nose-rope. The nose-rope was part of the paraphernalia of Belet-Ekallim and all Istar figures. It is therefore likely that she planned to go to the temple of Belet-Ekallim and that the nose-rope was her gift to BeletEkallim. There she met Inibsina, who then reported her message to the king in 26 197. The members of the household of the condemned Yanßib-Dagan were incarcerated as security for their master. If he reappeared, they would normally be released, but Sammetar did not want to make this decision himself.

Text 26 200



26 200 [To] ªmyº lord ªspeakº! Your [servant] Ahum, superior of [Annunitum], (says), “The (female) ecstatic Hubatum delivered a message as follows: ‘A wind 244 rises against ªthe landº. And I asked them for ªits wingsº1 and [its] 2 . . . 245 ªZimri-Limº and the sons of ªSimªalº [ ] the harvest. ªZimri-Limº [ ] the land, all of it, ªfromº [ ] ªhandº.’ And again [she spoke] ªas followsº: ‘Sons of ªYaminaº, why do you create problems? I call you to account.’ This that ecstatic ªsaidº. And herewith I have hair and hem of that woman sent ªtoº my lord.” 1.

Winds were imagined as birds. The most famous example is the Babylonian story of Adapa, who cut off the wings of the south wind in a rage. Here, the goddess probably suggests neutralizing the menace of the hostile wind by asking for its wings.

26 201 = 6 45 = LAPO 18 938 This is Bahdi-Lim’s cover letter for 26 200.

To my lord speak! Your servant Bahdi-Lim (says), “The city of Mari, the palace, and the district are well. “Further: Superior Ahum ªbrought meº hair and hem ªofº a female ecstatic. And a full report on her is written down on the tablet that Ahum sent [my] ªlordº. Herewith [I have] ªsentº my lord the tablet of Ahum (and) hair and hem of the female ecstatic.”

26 202 To my lord speak! Your servant Kanisan (says), “My father, ªKibri-Daganº, [ ] to Mari. He (said), ‘The words [that] were made [ ]. ªThey toldº [me] the following: “Water ªruns belowº [chaff ]. The god of my lord went and handed over his (the king’s) enemies.” Now the ecstatic 246 started shouting as before.’ This, Kibri-Dagan wrote [me]. My lord [must not] tire of having ªextispiciesº done for [his] well-being. And [4 lines] My lord must not postpone (it). He must offer offerings and depart!” The prophecy uses the image of water below chaff. Sasson identifies it with the prophecy of the shockhead of 26 197 and 199 (“Messages,” 306; and “Water,” 605). The prophecy comes from an ecstatic. While shock-heads probably were ecstatics, they were not so called. Also, this particular ecstatic seems to be in the habit of shouting, which is not said of shock-heads. Finally, the prophecy does not seem related to peace negotiations with Esnuna. I therefore assume that it is not identical with the prophecy of the shock-head and conclude that the image of water beneath chaff was common.

244. Whas is written is sa-ru, i.e., “winds,” and a sign before sa-. Durand takes it as the erasure of a 2. The scribe apparently wrote “2 winds,” then erased the 2, but did not add the -um necessary for the singular “wind.” The predicate is singular. 245. ta-ak-ka-[. 246. lú mu-uh-hu-[x]. x = um or tum. Accordingly, it was a male or female ecstatic.



Text 26 204Text = 10 2681 204 =

26 204 = 10 81 = LAPO 18 1204 Moran, ANET 3 632w.

To My Star speak! Inibsina (says), “Inni-Bana, a female respondent, rose and said the following: ‘Zimri-Lim, until his thieves [and] his enemies and those who are after him, [3 lines] must [not] ªdepartº, must [not] buy [ ], must not place (it). Herewith I give you my hair and my hem. Let them establish purity!’1 Now, herewith I send hair and hem to My Star. My Star [must] have an extispicy done. My Star must act according to his extispicy, and [My] Star must guard himself.” 1.

Durand, 26/1, 57, defines the establishment of purity on the basis of 26 242 as an expiatory rite, serving to ward off calamity. It was believed to be helpful as a response to any bad omen and consisted of offering an animal and inspecting its entrails. Another case is mentioned in 26 215.

26 205 = 25 816 “[n lines] ‘Let them break the cup in the third ª. . . 247º. Darkness will [ ] to the lower land, [and] it will be confounded. You will let ª. . . 248º for the alliance.’ Dagan let [me] grasp (its meaning, saying), ‘I shall open the weapons!’ I touched ªthe foreheadº of the ªservantsº of Zimri-Lim and dispatched (them) ªafter you (departed)º. ª10 linesº [n lines].” Guichard, “Guerre,” 38–39, suggests that the text evokes a magical rite before battle, the cup symbolizing the enemy land. The accomplished rite would create chaos in the enemy land. Guichard also likens the “opening” of the weapons by Dagan to the mouth-opening ritual. As the latter makes a living god out of a manufactured statue, so the weapons would gain their efficacy through “opening.”

26 206 To [my lord] speak! [Your] servant [Yaqqim-Addu] (says), “An ecstatic [of Dagan] came to me and [spoke to me] ªas followsº: He (said), ‘I will eat [ ] of [ . Give me] 1 ªlamb, andº I shall eat.’ [I gave] him one lamb, and ªhe ateº it alive in front of the city gate. And I assembled the elders in front of the city gate of Saggaratum,1 and he spoke as follows: He (said), ‘A devouring2 will occur. Call on the cities, and they must return the taboo. They must evict from the city (any) man who did. . . . 249 And for the well-being of your lord, ªZimri-Limº, you will clothe me in a garment.’ This he said to me, and for the well-being of [my] lord I ªclothedº [him] in a garment. Herewith [I ] the ªdirectiveº that he told me, [and] I have written to [my lord]. And he did not mention his directive to me in private. He gave his directive before the assembled elders.” 1. 2.

Yaqqim-Addu certainly assembled the elders before the ecstatic made his drastic demonstration. The unchronological sequencing of the text is a common feature of the letters. Epidemics were seen as the devouring of a god. See 26 259.

247. Durand restores ka-ra-[si-im] “camp.” 248. Durand restores tu-se-s[e-er-si] and translates “tu t’en feras un aide.” 249. lú sa ri-i-sa-am i-pu-su. Durand, “celui qui s’est livré à une action violente.” AHw. translates the other attestation of this word, JNES 15, 136:82, according to the supposed meaning of râsu as “Zerschlagung.” This verb is used of a meteor sa qaqqara irasu “that strikes the ground.”

Text 26 207 = 10 4 =



26 207 = 10 4 = LAPO 18 1144 Sasson, “Reflections on an Unusual Practice Reported in ARM X:4,” Orientalia 43 (1974), 404–10; Durand, “In Vino Veritas,” RA 76 (1982), 43–50; Finet, “Un cas de clédonomancie à Mari,” in Zikir Sumim: Assyriological Studies Presented to F. R. Kraus on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, G. van Driel et al., eds. (Leiden, 1982), 48–55; Durand, “Trois études,” 150–56; Moran, ANET 3 629–30k.

To my lord speak! Your maid1 Siptu (says), “About the issue of the campaign on which my lord goes—I gave a male and a female signs to drink. 250 I asked, and the prediction was very good for my lord. I asked the male and the female likewise about Isme-Dagan, and the prediction concerning him was not good. And the report concerning him (is that) he is placed under the foot of my lord. They (said), ‘My lord ªliftedº a hook. 251 Toward IsmeDagan he lifted the hook and (he said), “With the hook I will overcome you. Wrestle 252 with me as you will, and in wrestling I will overcome you.” ’ I (said), ‘Will my lord come close to battle?’ They (said), ‘Battle will not be done. As of the arrival (of Zimri-Lim) his (Isme-Dagan’s) allies will scatter. And they2 will cut off the head of ªIsme-Daganº, and they will place it under the foot of my lord, (saying), “The troops of Isme-Dagan were many. And although [his troops were] ªmanyº, his allies ªscatteredº. 253 My3 own allies are Dagan, Samas, Itur-Mer and Belet-Ekallim and Addu, lord of determination, who ªgoº at the side of my lord.” ’ I am afraid my lord will [say], ‘She helped them [speak].’ 254 I certainly did not make [them] ªspeakº. There are those who talk, [and] there are those who. . . . 255 They (said), ‘The allies of ªIsme-Daganº are captives. They keep . . . 256 with him through lies [and] deceptions. They do not obey him. ªBeforeº my lord his troops will scatter.’ ” 250. Durand established the reading asqi “I gave to drink.” He understands ittatim zikaram u sinnistam as one accusative phrase and translates “j’ai fait boire les signes mâle et femelle,” commenting on the use of the word “sign” as metonymic for “sign-giver” (see detailed discussion in RA 76, 44). saqûm is construed with two accusatives, one for the drink, the other for the drinker, and I translate accordingly. The “signs” would still be the “sign giver,” but as a metonym for the drink rather than the persons. The same expression occurs in 26 212. 251. humasum. This word designates the grappling hook that wrestlers used in their matches; see AHw. umasu. Durand thinks it was a curved stick (“Trois études,” 154 n. 30) and translates it “canne” in LAPO; Sasson connected the word with Hebrew ˙omes and suggested that it was a wrestler’s belt. See Durand’s discussion in comment b of his translation in LAPO. The wrestler, “the one of the grappling hook” (sa humasim), is attested in Mari (FM 3 103). 252. I follow Moran. 253. Durand reads is-sà-ap-[h]a-su. This yields a preterit form of the N-stem that fits the context better than Dossin’s reading, is-sà-ap-[pa-h]a-su. Moran uses Dossin’s reading and translates “will be scattered from him.” If -su stands for the dative -sum, which happens occasionally in Mari, and if this dative does not express a benefit, which is its most common function, but merely establishes a neutral connection to Isme-Dagan, Moran’s translation might be defensible. Durand does not render the suffix, which yields the best sense. I assume it is a scribal mistake. 254. ina belani u[sadbibs]unuti, literally, “made them speak with carrying poles.” 255. im-ta-ha-[x]. Dossin suggests the restoration [ßú] and translates “d’autres le contestant”; Finet restores [ru] and translates the same as Dossin; Durand, in “Trois études,” restores as Dossin does and translates “d’autres résistent.” 256. it-ta-na-su. Finet translates “ils ne cesseront de s’agiter contre lui”; Durand, “ils ne sont point sûrs pour lui.” CAD emends sarratu a to it-ta-na-ku. The form could also be Gtn of nâsum.

258 1. 2.

26 208 3.


Text 26 208

Wives were called “maids,” which also served as a term for female slaves, and were so regarded and treated by their husbands. Husbands were called “lords” of their wives (see 26 249). “They” designates the persons who would cut off his head. It is noteworthy that Zimri-Lim would not do it himself. “Our” is expected. Occasionally, a plurality of persons is said to be speaking, but only one person actually speaks; this mirrors the reality of one person’s speaking on behalf of all the members of a group. The question of the speaker here has generated much discussion, for which see Veenhof, “Some Letters from Mari,” RA 76 (1982), 124–25. I follow Durand’s translation.

26 208 = 10 9 = LAPO 1142 Moran, ANET 3 632u; Sasson, “An Apocalyptic Vision from Mari?: Speculations on ARM X 9,” MARI 1 (1982), 151–67; Durand, “Trois études,” 152–53; Sasson, “Apocalypticism,” 286–87.

To my lord speak! Your maid Siptu (says), “The palace is well. Qisti-Diritim, the respondent of Diritum, [came] to the gate of the palace the second [day] (of the month). He wrote me1 as follows: ‘Against the throne of Mari, none will ªcome upº. The upper one 257 is ªgivenº to Zimri-[Lim]. The lance of the ªElamiteº [will be broken].’ This [he wrote me]. “Further: [n lines] ‘We ªwere mindful ofº the sacred oath.’ He ªcalledº (the god) Asumum. Asumum ªquicklyº [came and spoke] a word to Ea. I did not hear what Asumum [said. Ea] ªroseº [and] said, ‘[As] we declare [a sacred oath], let them take ªgreaseº and . . . 258 of the city gate [of Mari], and ªwe shall be mindful ofº the sacred oath.’ They took grease and . . . of the city gate of Mari, and they dissolved it in water, and the gods and goddesses drank.2 Ea (said), ‘. . . 259 to the gods who would cause harm to the brickwork of Mari and the guardian [of Mari]!’ ªThe godsº and ªgoddessesº [spoke as follows]: ‘We will not cause harm to the brickwork of Mari and the guardian of Mari.’ ” 1.


It is noteworthy that Qisti-Diritim wrote from the palace gate, to Siptu, who lived in that palace. Probably Qisti-Diritim judged the message to be too important to entrust to a courier, yet he could not simply enter and see the queen either. Charpin, “Manger,” shows that the expression “to eat an oath” describes a custom of eating a plant in connection with swearing an oath. In the event of perjury, the ingested plant would turn

257. a-la-i-tum. Durand calls the word “une façon de dire (mâtum) elîtum,” that is, “the upper land.” The /a/ after /l/ is unexpected even in an archaic form. See, for example, a-li-u-um in M.10556 (MARI 1, 80). On the other hand, compare gentilics in -aªu, such as Maraªu “Mariotes.” The feminine singular would be -aªitum, as here. 258. rusam u sippam. M. Stol, in his review of 26/1–2 in JAOS 111 (1991), 627–28, presents evidence for rusum “grease.” See also FM 3 119, which records the expenditure of oil for cleaning the threshold of a temple gate. The formulation “grease and threshold” is odd. The parallels mentioned by Stol have the expected genitive construction “grease of a threshold.” Perhaps zi-ip-pa-am is not the word for threshold and designates decayed wood or some residue such as ßipu. Durand translates “l’argile (de décomposition) et (de l’argile) du seuil” in LAPO. 259. Sasson, in “Apocalypticism,” reads te9-ba-a and sees in the form a plural imperative of tebûm, which should be tibia or tibê. Durand reads †ì-ba-a, understands the form as a stative feminine plural of †abum, translates “est-il agréable?” and states that such a variant of the †aba that one would expect is not surprising at Mari. AHw. reads ti-ma-a and derives it from tamûm “to swear.” But, if the statement of the gods was sworn, the phrase ul nugallal “we will not cause harm” should be subjunctive.

Text 26 209



against the perjurer. Here, the gods who swear to preserve Mari ingest a physical part of Mari. If they allow Mari to be harmed, they will harm themselves.

26 209 26 209 = 13 23 = LAPO 18 939 Moran, ANET 3 625i.

To my lord speak! Your servant Mukannisum (says), “I offered offerings to Dagan for the life of my lord, and the respondent of Dagan of Tuttul rose and spoke as follows: ‘Babylon, what do you keep doing? 260 I will gather you up for net and. . . . 261 The houses of 7 conspirators and their wealth I will ªhand over to Zimri-Limº.’ And the respondent of ª. . .1 roseº [and] ªspoke as followsº: ‘Hammu-Rabi [4 lines].’ ” 1.

The name of a divinity is expected. Durand suggests reading Belet Ekallim or Nergal.

26 210 = 13 114 = LAPO 18 937 Moran, ANET 3 624d.

[To my lord] speak! Your servant Kibri-Dagan (says), “The day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, before crack of dawn, 262 a woman, wife of a gentleman, came to me and spoke to me about the news from Babylon as follows: ‘Dagan sent me. Write your lord! He need not choke (in fear). And the land [need not] choke (in fear). Hammu-Rabi, [king of ] Babylon, [n lines].’ ”

26 211 To my lord speak! [Your] maid Siptu (says), “[4 lines]. She spoke to me as follows: She (said), ‘Zimri-Lim, where he went, he need not be ashamed. He will reach his goal. I will rage over there and be present in victory.’ ”

26 212 = 10 6 = LAPO 18 1146 Moran, ANET 3 630l. The letter may be a response to 26 185-bis.

To my lord ªspeakº! Your maid ªSiptuº (says), “The palace is well. ªIli-Haznaya, the pederast of Annunitum, came to meº [n lines]. [About] ªthe news from Babylonº I gave signs to drink. I asked, and that man (Hammu-Rabi) thinks up many things about this land. He will 260. te-et-te-ne-e-pé-es. This may be present tense Gtn teteneppes, pronounced tetteneppes, and written phonetically. The interrogative lengthening should be on the last syllable. Moran suggests a passive Ntn form, tettenepes, and translates “how must you be constantly treated?” 261. sa-ka-ri-im. For sakarûm or sakrûm, see Durand, “Histoire du royaume de HauteMéspotamie,” MARI 5 (1987), 187–88. Durand translates the word here as “cutlass,” which is a kind of machete. 262. lama tirik sadîm means, literally, “before the hit/darkening of the mountain.” Durand chooses the second meaning of tirkum and concludes that the evening is meant. I choose the first meaning and assume that the sun-god hits the mythical mountain Masum, through which he rises in the morning. See my note, NABU 1997 4.


26 213


Text 26 213

not succeed. My lord will see what the god will do to that man. You will catch him. And you will stand over him. His days1 are near. He will not live. This my lord must know. I asked 5 days before (the arrival of) the message of Ili-Haznaya, which Annunitum sent with him, and the message that Annunitum sent you and (the answer to) what I asked are the same.” 1.

“His days,” as in 26 196, “your day,” denotes the last day(s) of life.

26 213 = 10 7 = LAPO 18 1137 Moran, ANET 3 630m.

To my lord speak! Your maid Siptu (says), “The palace is well. In the house of Annunitum, on the third day (of the month), Selebum went ecstatic. Annunitum (says), ‘ZimriLim, they will test you in a rebellion. Guard yourself! Surround yourself with the servants, your agents, 263 whom you love! Let them stand (before you), and let them protect you! Do not go by yourself! And the men who ªtest youº, those ªmen I will hand overº to you.’ Now, ªherewithº I send hair [and hem] of the ªpederast toº [my lord].”

26 214 = 10 8 = LAPO 18 1138 Moran, ANET 3 630n.

To my lord speak! Your maid Siptu (says), “In the house of Annunitum in the center of the city, Ahatum, a girl of Dagan-Malik, went ecstatic and spoke as follows: ‘Zimri-Lim, even if you disregard me, I caress 264 you. I will hand over your enemies to you. And I will seize those who steal from me 265 and collect them for annihilation by Belet-Ekallim.’1 The next day, the superior Ahum brought this message, hair and hem, and I wrote my lord. I sealed hair and hem and have sent it to my lord.” 1.

Why would Belet Ekallim be involved? Perhaps there was a special link between Annunitum and Belet Ekallim because both were Istar figures, and the Yamina goddess Annunitum benefited from this link with the non-Yamina Belet Ekallim.

26 215 To my lord speak! Your servant Lanasum (says), “My lord wrote me as follows: My lord (said), ‘Herewith I am having an offering conducted to Dagan. ª 266º 1 bull and 6 rams.’ Now the offering of my lord arrived in the city (of Tuttul) safely. And it was offered before 263. So Charpin, NABU 1999 77. Durand emends to ib-bi-ka. 264. Dossin read a-ha-ab-bu-ub and translated the verb as “cajoler.” Durand read, after collation, a-ha-ab-bu-uß4(az), derived the form from AHw. habaßum II, and translated “je massacrerai pour ton compte.” Sasson, “Messages,” 305, returned to Dossin’s reading and translated “I shall hover over you.” I follow Sasson. 265. l ú . m e s sarraqiya. The possessive suffix can be used subjectively and can denote “my thieves,” which is Durand’s translation, or objectively, “thieves of my possessions,” which leads to my translation. 266. Durand, b[i-il] “apporte!”

spread is 12 points short

Text 26 216



Dagan. And the land sat down to a banquet.1 And the city, all of it, was very happy about the offering of my lord. And an ecstatic rose before Dagan and spoke as follows: He (said), ‘Until when can I not drink clean water? Write your lord, and he must give me clean water to drink.’2 Now, herewith I send a lock of his head and his hem to my lord. My lord must make a purification. “Further: About the impost 267 due my lord—1 reliable man from among the servants of my lord must come to me and then take the impost of my lord from the citizens. “And the citizens tore out 2 doors for Dagan in my absence.”3 1. 2.


The food offered to the gods was eaten communally in Mesopotamia. Holocaust is rare (see 26 113 and FM 3 81). The request is certainly not for clean water to be shipped from Mari for the consumption of Dagan but for furnishing the temple with appropriate water containers—porous vessels in which water can be cooled by exposing them to moving air, stone containers, cups, and so forth—and perhaps also organizational help to insure the availability of clean cool water in the temple of Dagan. A good illustration for the important role of drinking water in a temple is a passage from a Sumerian hymn to the goddess Nanse (JCS 33, 88:113). The statement is strange because it is silent about the place from which the doors were “torn out,” or “removed.” Perhaps the phrase means that the doors were secondhand? Is it coincidental that doors for the temple of Dagan are mentioned in 26 138-bis?

26 216 To my lord speak! Your servant Tebi-Gerisu (says), “The day after I arrived before Asmad, I ªassembledº the prophets1 of the Hana. I had extispicies done about the well-being of my lord. I (said), ‘If my lord ªstaysº for 7 days ªoutside the wallsº when he does [his] ªablutions,2 and [ ] in well-being [n lines.’ n lines] the day [ ] outside the walls [ ]. My lord must guard ªhimselfº, [ must] ªattend toº my lord. And the guard [of ] must be strong. My lord must not neglect to guard himself.” 1. 2.

The word nabûm is translated “prophet” because of its Hebrew and Arabic cognates. Another 7-day rite held in the temple of Dagan, perhaps also involving ablutions, is mentioned in 26 5.

26 217 “[13 lines] ‘From your youth I have been fostering you, 268 and then I kept bringing you to wherever there were safe places. And (yet:) once I request something from you, you do not give me (it). Now ª 269º to Nahur for me and give me the requested item [that] I ªmentionedº to you! [That which] I [did not] grant in the past to [ ], I will [now] ªgrantº to you. [ ] there are, I will ªheap belowº your feet. Your [ ] will turn into plenty and abundance.’ These things that woman told me, and I wrote my lord the words of her mouth. Herewith I 267. sirum or sirum. The meaning of the word was established by Durand, “Imar,” 58–60. 268. ªúº-[k]a-na-ak-ka. I assume a shift of the length of the vowel to the succeeding consonant, i.e., ukannaka to ukanakka. 269. Durand restores [su-le]-em-ma and translates “envoie un ex-voto.”



Text 26 218

send my lord her hair and her hem. My lord must have extispicies done and act according to what the god answers my lord. “Further: I keep writing my lord about grain, and they did not bring me grain. Now Yap†ur just revolted (in the area) from Sarum to Busªan. They made their enmity known. And a secret agent came out and ªtalkedº to me [as follows: ‘ ] thousand, 5 thousand, troops. We came close to ªNahurº [ ] to Nahur [n lines.’ n lines].”

26 218 “[6 lines] the commemorative stele 270 [ ]. And I [ ] its fame forever. And an offering for that commemorative stele has not been made. And my lord spoke to me as [follows]: ‘I will send you a casting net 271 from Mari. Place it on that commemorative stele.’ ªNowº my lord [ ] Mari. He did not send the ªnetº [to me]. [circa 11 lines].”

26 219 “[n lines] Further: the day of the offering a respondent ªof Ninhursanga roseº [in] the house of Ninhursanga [and] told the following: He (said), ‘1 time, 2 times, and 3 [times] I ªmadeº my request before ªZimri-Limº, and still he did not give ªanyhingº [to me].’ 1 [7 lines]. “And further: [ ‘ ] you see a one year old female . . . 272 concerning which I ªwroteº [1 line] a good [ ] that your name [ ] send me!’ These things the ªrespondentº told. And herewith I ªsend hairº [and hem] of the respondent to my lord. My lord must do what needs to be done! [ ] Íura-Hammu [ ].” 1.

These lines are reminiscent of the wishes of the unnamed divinity in Nahur in 26 217.

26 220 = 2 90 = LAPO 18 978 Moran, ANET 3 624g.

To my lord speak! Your servant Kibri-Dagan (says), “Dagan and Yakrub-El are well. The city of Terqa and the district are well. “Further: The encampment [of ] ªthe sonsº of Yamina [ ] sheep to the bank of the Euphrates, the right bank, and they graze with the sheep of the encampment [of the Hana]. There is no wrong [at all. The heart of my lord] need not be concerned. “[3 lines] ªan ecstatic ofº Dagan [spoke] ªa wordº [as follows]: ‘Dagan sent [me] about making the offering [of the body rites], (saying), “Write your lord, and the offering of body rites must be made on the 14th of the coming month.” They must not let that offering pass by.’ This that man said to me. Now, herewith I have written my lord. My lord must do what seems favorable to him according to his consultation.” 270. hu-mu-sà-am. Translated according to Durand, NABU 1987 85; he discusses the term and the concept in “Réalités,” 27–30. 271. za-pa-ra-am. Durand derives it from saparrum, which designates a type of vehicle. I derive it from saparum. For the type of net, see P. Steinkeller, “A Note on s a . b a r = sa-par4 /pàr ‘Casting Net’,” ZA 75 (1985), 39–46. 272. te-gunû-bar, probably a writing for sapparum, an unidentified ungulate.

Text 26 221 = 3 40 =



26 221 = 3 40 = LAPO 18 941 Moran, ANET 3 624e.

[To] my lord speak! Your servant Kibri-Dagan (says), “Dagan and Yakrub-El are well. The city of Terqa and the district are well. “Further: an ecstatic of Dagan came to me the day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord and spoke a word to me as follows: ‘The god sent me. Hurry! Write the king, and they must pledge offerings of the dead to the spirit1 of Yahdun-Lim.’ This that ecstatic said to me, and (herewith) I have written my lord. My lord must do what seems favorable to him.” 1.

The spirit (e†emmum) in Mesopotamian conception is the divine element of a human individual. It causes the heart to beat during the life of its human host and turns into a ghost at death.

26 221-bis = 3 78 = LAPO 18 942 Moran, ANET 3 624f.

[To] my lord speak! Your [servant] Kibri-Dagan (says), “Dagan and Yakrub-El are well. The city of Terqa and the district are well. I do not neglect harvesting the grain of my district [and] unloading it onto the threshing floors. “[Further:] About [making] the new city gate—the ecstatic [PN came] to me some time ago, and he ªwas worriedº. [He (said)], ‘ªSetº [hand to work on] that city gate!’ [Now, the day] I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, that ecstatic returned and spoke to me. [And] he gave strict orders, (namely), ‘[If ] you do not make that city gate, there will be a corpse heap. You will not succeed.’ This that ecstatic said to me. And I am preoccupied with the harvest. I cannot divert my servants. [If ] my lord says (so) [n lines].”

26 222 = 10 106 = LAPO 18 1220 To Daris-Libur speak! Your [son] Usaris-Hetil (says), “ª11 linesº.1 [Before] the king arrives in Mari, say to him that that girl is dead! He must know. I am afraid the king will hear of the death of that girl upon his entering Mari, and it will seize [him, and] he will be griefstricken.” 1.

Durand restores these lines ingeniously as the episode of the death of Beltum’s daughter. A. Malamat pointed out similarities with 2 Samuel 12:13–23, in NABU 1989 88.

26 223 Fragment of a letter, reedited with photo by Charpin, “Prophètes et rois dans le Proche-Orient amorrite,” FM 6 (2002), 36–37. 26 224–40 report or mention dreams.


26 224 [To my lord] speak! Your servant ªSumuº-[Hadu] (says), “The dream is [very] ªgoodº for [my] lord. My lord must offer to Annunitum in Samanum upon [his] ªpassingº. Or else my lord must touch one ram, and they must bring (it) and offer. My lord must act according to his thinking.



Text 26 225

“[And] about the trip of my lord—the day my lord arrives, a tablet of my lord must come one day early.1 “About soaking 273 good beer [ ] a fattened ªbullº that [ ] for the dinner of my lord [circa 4 lines] dinner that ox was ªseizedº.” 1.

The formulation is awkward. I assume that the writer wanted one day’s notice before the arrival of the king. Durand suggests the translation “que le même jour une tablette . . . arrive.” It would give little time for preparations.

26 225 Sasson, “Messages,” 303 n. 12; “King,” 456 n. 8.

[To my lord speak! Your servant PN (says), “I listened to the tablet that] my [lord sent me. My lord] wrote me [as follows]: ‘The dream that was before my eyes was frightening. I am afraid the Suteans will seize Dam-Huraßi and you and (say), “As long as you do not return our home, 274 we will not release them.” ’ This my lord wrote me. As soon as I heard the tablet of my lord, I called the diviners and asked them a word as follows: I (said), ‘My [lord] wrote me in strict terms. How do you advise?’ [This I] asked them, and they gave me [ ], (saying), ‘[n lines].’ [n lines].”

26 227 [To my lord speak]! Addu-Duri (says), “[PN] had a dream before her eyes. She (said), ‘[In] my ªdreamº the ecstatics ªHadnu-Elº [and] Iddin-Kubi1 ªcame aliveº, and they entered among the cows 275 of Abba, 276 and they spoke as follows: They (said), “Speak to your (f. pl.) fetuses and let Zimri-Lim bring about a harvest of peace!” [circa 8 lines].’ ” 1.

The name means “My-fetus-gave(the child),” which is probably an allusion to a fetus that was stillborn and would have been the older brother or sister of “My-fetus-gave” (J. Stamm, Die akkadische Namengebung [reprint, Darmstadt, 1968], 306). It is hardly a coincidence that the name stands in relation to the vision.

26 228 [To my lord speak]! Your servant ªIddiyatumº (says), “Your servant Nanna-Lutil had a dream before his eyes, (namely), ‘In my dream the allies of [2 lines]. ªZimri-Lim defeatedº Elam. And he [ ] in victory [ ].’ ”

273. rasanum. The procedure is obscure. CAD translates “to brew (beer).” 274. a-di ta su-ba-at-ni. Durand expects adi sa subatni but feels compelled by the clearly written ta to posit a word tâsubâtum and to translate “tant que tu ne rendras pas nos demeures.” Sasson posits a word tasubatum “female residents” (in “Messages”) but reverts (in “King”) to Durand’s interpretation. The form cannot be plural (GAG §65k). I emend the ta to sa. 275. [l]e-et = lêt. Durand understands ana let “to the side of.” 276. If the previous note is correct, the divinity Abba derives from the Sumerian word á b “cow” + genitive a(k) without regens, i.e., “the one of cows.”

Text 26 229 = Dossin,



26 229 = Dossin, “Le songe de Ayala,” RA 69 (1975), 28–30 Sasson, “Mari Dreams,” 291. According to Durand, 26/1, 458, the writing dates the report to the time of Yahdun-Lim.

Ayyala had the following before the eyes in her dream: “A Sehrite woman (and) a Mariote woman fought in the gate of Annunitum of Outside the Wall. The Sehrite woman (said) to the Mariote woman: ‘Return my household goods to me! Either you stay! Or else I shall stay.’ I checked on it (the dream) with a burrowing owl, and it was seen. Herewith I send her (Ayyala’s) hair and hem. My lord must check on her.”

26 230 The text is, in my opinion, too damaged for translation. Durand and Sasson construct a cogent plot in this text.

26 231 To [my] lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “My lord wrote me about [offering] warm dishes to Addu. Some time ago, a dream about warm dishes was before the eyes (of someone), and I wrote from Puzurran to my lord. I (said), ‘They must offer warm dishes to Addu and . . . 277 to Nergal on the 20th day. And likewise [it must be] offered at the end of the month, the first day, and thirdly on the [nth] day. [4 lines] what I wrote my lord some time ago, 3 times warm dishes until the harvest. And thus [they] will not be ªdelayedº. [My lord must] promptly [pay attention] to these things.’ ”

26 232 = 10 100 = LAPO 18 1262 Moran, ANET 3 631s.

To my lord speak! Your maid Zunana (says), “When I stayed in Ganibatum, I sent Kittum-Simhiya to Rubban, and they carried her off on the way. And Dagan, your lord, made a shade for me, 278 and nobody touched me.1 Dagan spoke to me as follows: He (said), ‘Was your face upwards, downwards?’2 I (said), ‘It was downwards, and I went there but did not see my girl. When my lord went to Andarig, shallots of my girl were sent up to me from Sammetar’s, and I went to him, and he answered [me] with yes.3 (Yet) he cheated me again and did not give me my girl.’ Dagan spoke to me as follows: He (said), ‘He will not let your girl go. Until (the matter) is with Zimri-Lim, nobody will release her to you.’ Now, in accordance with the command of Dagan, my lord must not keep my girl.”4 1.


Durand translates “sans qu’on me fasse le rite du liptum.” He understands the rite to consist of a touch with the hand in connection with dream incubation (see 26/1, 461). Like Moran, I understand that Zunana, being under Dagan’s protection, was spared when something happened to her servant girl. In the geographical sense of upstream and downstream. Durand translates “es-tu gaie ou triste.”

277. Durand reads [k]e-em-[ma] “de même.” 278. ußallilam. Dossin, attributing the form to an otherwise unattested D stem of ßalalum “to lie,” translated “(Dagan) m’a fait tomber endormie.” Durand followed him, but exchanged the subject and object and translated “j’ai vues pendant mon sommeil (Dagan).” I follow AHw., ßullulu 6.

266 3.

26 233 4.


Text 26 233

The phrasing is extremely terse. Kittum-Simhiya revealed her whereabouts to her lady Zunana by sending her shallots. Thereupon Zunana went to Sammetar and asked him to release her servant to her. He promised to do so. By failing to instruct his servant Sammetar to release Kittum-Simhiya.

26 233 = Jean, “Lettres de Mari IV,” 125–34 Moran, ANET 3 623a; Sasson, “Mari Dreams,” 290–91.

To my lord speak! Your servant Itur-Asdu (says), “The day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, Malik-Dagan, a man of Sa Akka, came to me and spoke to me as follows: ‘In my dream, I and a man with me, (coming) from the district of Saggaratum, (being) in the upper district, (and) having set my sight on going to Mari, I entered Terqa prior to my (going to Mari) and, as of my entering, I entered the house of Dagan and prostrated myself before Dagan. Upon my prostration, Dagan opened his mouth and spoke to me as follows: “Have the kings of the sons of Yamina and their troops made peace with the troops of Zimri-Lim who came up?” I (said), “They did not make peace.” Prior to my leaving, he spoke to me as follows: “Why are messengers of Zimri-Lim not staying with me regularly, and why does he not place his full report before me? Otherwise I would have handed the kings of the sons of ªYaminaº over to Zimri-Lim many days ago. Go now! I have sent you. You will speak to Zimri-Lim as follows: You (will say), ‘ªSendº your messengers to me ªandº then place your full report ªbefore meº, and then [I shall let] the kings [of the sons] of Yamina . . . , 279 and [I shall] ªplaceº them before you.’ ” ’ This that man had before the eyes in his dream and then told me. Now, herewith I have written my lord. My lord must check on this dream. “Further: If it pleases my lord, let my lord place his full report before Dagan! And the messengers of my lord must go to Dagan regularly. The man who mentioned this dream to me will give a body to Dagan,1 and I did not dispatch him (to my lord). And I did not take his hair and hem because that man is reliable.” 1.

Moran understands it as offerings to the dead; Durand follows him and connects it specifically with the offerings of the body rites of Dagan, for which see 26 25, comment 3.

26 234 = 13 112 = LAPO 18 935 Oppenheim, Letters, 110; Moran, ANET 3 623–24b.

To my lord speak! Your servant Kibri-Dagan (says), “ªDaganº and Yakrub-El are well. The city of [Terqa and] the district are well. [12 lines] he saw (in a dream) as follows: ‘[The god (said)], “Do (pl.) not ªrebuildº this ruined house! Once that house is being rebuilt, I will make it fall into the river.” ’ He did not ªspeakº [to] anybody on the day he saw that dream. The next day he saw the dream again (and said): ‘The god (said), 280 “Do not rebuild this house! Once you rebuild it, I will make it fall into the river.” ’ Now, herewith I have sent my lord the hem of his garment and a lock of his head. Since ªthat day, thatº boy is ªillº.”1 1.

Because he failed to communicate his dream when he first dreamed it.

279. i-na m i s .sú-us-sú-ul l ú . p e [ s . a lu-sa-a]b-si-il-su-nu-ti. Translations vary according to attribution of the verbal form to bsl or psl and to the understanding of the nature of the wooden box called sussulum. Cooper suggests “wriggle in the holding tank” in his letter of 5/23/97. 280. The speech introduction should be ummami umma ilumma and is abbreviated to ummami ilumma.

spread is 1 pica long

Text 26 235 = 13 113 =



26 235 = 13 113 = LAPO 18 946 Moran, ANET 3 624c. Not one line of the text of the letter is completely preserved, and most lines are severely damaged. Durand saw a coherent story line in the preserved remains: A person sees a dream and Ahum, the superior of Annunitum, relates it. Enemy troops have entered the strong cities of Mari, Terqa, and Saggaratum. They occupy the royal quarters. Moran translated what is preserved and added a few obvious restorations.

26 236 = 10 10 = LAPO 18 1139 Moran, ANET 3 630o; Sasson, “Mari Dreams,” n. 32; Durand, “Trois études,” 155–56.

[To my lord speak]! Your maid Siptu (says), “The houses of the gods, the palace, and the prisons are well. “Further: Kakka-Lidi had a vision in the house of Itur-Mer, (namely), ‘2 large barges were blocking the river, and king and retinue were riding inside. Those of the right were calling ªtoº the left, “Kingship, scepter, throne, reign, upper and lower land ªare givenº to Zimri-Lim.” And the retinue, all of ªitº, was answering “to Zimri-Lim it is given.” Those barges [ ] to the gate of the palace, and [ ].’ ”1 1.

Given that the persons in the two barges were in the king’s retinue, with the exception of the king himself, it seems strange that “all” of the retinue would answer the shouted words of those in one barge. I suppose that those in the left barge were answering those in the right barge. Durand understands the spoken words as a “chant de triomphe” of the soldiers coming from battle (“Trois études”); Guichard, as a chant of the soldiers going to battle (“Guerre,” 41).

26 237 = 10 50 = LAPO 18 1094 Moran, ANET 3 630p; Sasson, “Mari Dreams,” 286.

To my lord speak! Your maid Addu-Duri (says), “Since the end 281 of (the government of) the house of your father, I never saw such a dream. These 282 were my signs from before. I entered the house of Belet-Ekallim in my dream, and Belet-Ekallim was not sitting (in her place). And the statues that are before her were not there. And I saw it and started weeping. This dream of mine was one of dusk. I dreamt again, and Dada, the superior of Estar Bisra, was standing ªinº the gate of Belet-Ekallim, and a . . . 283 mouth 284 kept calling out as follows: ‘Turn to me, 285 oh Dagan. Turn to me, oh Dagan.’ So it kept calling. 281. su-lum. Dossin translated “(r)établissement.” Charpin and Durand, in “Pouvoir,” 327 n. 151, pointed to the phrase “from the su-lum of Agade to my kingship” in an inscription of Samsi-Adad, where the context excludes “rétablissement,” and suggested “chute” for both references. Sasson did not translate the word but assumed that it meant “restoration” and “destruction.” Durand returned to Dossin’s view in LAPO, because he felt that the word cannot have a negative connotation. CAD translates both references with “end.” 282. annittan is a pseudo-dual form of annûm. See my note, NABU 1996 62. 283. nakrum. Durand, “désagréable”; Moran, “eerie”; Sasson, “hostile”; Durand, in LAPO, considers “avec un accent étranger.” Perhaps the adjective does not refer to the voice but to the strange contents of the calls. See also n. 5 to 26 1. 284. pí-ú for pûm? 285. tu-ra. This must be a ventive/1st-person dative without m. Sasson discusses the possibility of a connection with the PN Tura-Dagan.


26 238


Text 26 238

“Further: A female ecstatic rose in the house of Annunitum and (said), ‘Zimri-Lim, do not go on the road! Stay in Mari, and then I will answer all questions.’ My lord must not neglect to guard himself. Herewith I seal (a container with) my1 hair and my hem, and I send it to my lord.” 1.

This would be Addu-Duri’s hair and hem. Yet how could the mother of Zimri-Lim be less reliable than Malik-Dagan in 26 233? Surely the hair and hem of the female ecstatic is meant. The scribe made a mistake.

26 238 = 10 51 = LAPO 18 1095 Moran, ANET 3 630q.

To my lord speak! Addu-Duri (says), “Iddin-Ili, the superior of Itur-Mer, saw a dream. He (said), ‘Belet-Biri stood there 286 in my dream and spoke to me as follows: She (said), “Kingship is his brickmold and reign his wall.1 Why does he keep going up the tower? He must guard himself.” ’ Now, my lord must not tire in guarding himself.” 1.

Durand, translating “dynasty” instead of “reign,” expresses the idea that the bricks are likened to the individual kings who together form the wall (LAPO 18). I understand the first image to mean that Zimri-Lim acts as befits a king, an idea that is expressed with other words by Sammetar, when he says, “(My lord) will certainly do what suits his kingship” (26 14).

26 239 = 10 94 = LAPO 18 1221 Moran, ANET 3 630r.

To my lord [speak! Your maid] Simatum (says), “Since the day on which [I ] ªfromº [Mari], I ªhave been on the runº much. And I ªsawº all their cities, as many dwellings of my lord (Haya-Sumu) and as many [ as there are]. Now if my lord (Zimri-Lim) is about to go to [Ilan-Íura], [n lines]. And about the daughter of Tepahum—a man stood there in my dream and (said), ‘Let the girl, the daughter of Tepahum, [be called] Tagid-Nawe!’ This he said to me. Now my lord must have a diviner check on it, and if [that] ªdreamº was seen, my lord [must call] the daughter ªTagid-Naweº. Thus she must be called. And may the well-being of my lord be lasting!”

26 240 = 10 117 = LAPO 18 1101 See Moran, “Review of ARM X,” JAOS 100 (1980), 188; Sasson, “Mari Dreams,” 284.

To Addu-Duri speak! Your maid Timlu (says), “It was certainly a sign that when YarªipAbba brought [me] out of Kasapa [and] I came to you, I spoke to you [as follows]: ‘I saw a dream about you, [and in] my dream Belet-[Ekallim]’ [n lines] ª7 linesº. “Further: ª 287º [and] the cap of your head send to me! I want to smell the scent of my lady, and it may revive my heart, which is dead.”

286. izzizzam. See Sasson’s discussion of the possible meanings of this form in “Mari Dreams,” 285. In the next letter, the form izziz is found in similar context. 287. Durand, LAPO, reads [1 túg sa-b]a-at-tam.

Text 26 241



26 241–48 relate various ominous occurrences. Letter 248 is a list of predictions for eclipses of the moon. A.3051 belongs to this group and has been included among the additional texts. Letters 241–46 were copied by Guichard, “Présages,” 309–11.

26 241 See A.3051.

To my lord speak! Your servant Sumhu-Rabi (says), “In Zarri Rabbum, among the sheep of Mayor Sasum, a freak lamb was born, but then nobody informed me when I was staying Occu with my lord in Mari. As I arrived in my district (Saggaratum), they brought it to me and spoke to me as follows: ‘(At its birth,) its head was one, its face the face of a ram, its chest, heart and innards were one. From its navel to its haunches there were 2 bodies. And when it was born, one of its shoulders was torn off, and they have . . . 288 its head.’ Now, herewith I send [it] to ªmy lordº. My lord must see it.”

26 242 [To my lord speak! Your servant PN] (says), “The palace is well. My lord wrote me [about] ªblendingº [wine] and [having it carried] to Saggaratum. I opened the wine house [and] blended 4 containers of red wine as my lord likes to drink it and 4 containers of red wine of second quality as my lord likes to drink it, and I have had (them) carried to Saggaratum. My lord [ ] the wine as [he] likes to drink it. Hopefully, I ªblendedº this with this [well] and my lord [ ], all of it. Over and above ªtheseº 4 containers, which I have had carried to ªSaggaratumº, they did not provide red wine [as] my lord likes to drink it. ª6 linesº “They1 came up from the ground. From the ªstoreroom of Sudduriº to the barber’s house2 of the gate of Sudduri [ . From] the barber’s house to the gate of the house of Dagan they came up in 2 places. ª 289º Asqudum, and he made a purification for the well-being of my lord, and the extispicies were sound. Now I (packed and) sealed (some of) those ants and a clod of soil [from] the storeroom of Sudduri and ªsend (it)º to my lord.” 1.


“They” are ants, which were not only unwanted but also ominous. For the latter aspect, see S. Maul, Zukunftsbewältigung: Eine Untersuchung altorientalischen Denkens anhand der babylonischassyrischen Lösungsrituale—Namburbi (Baghdader Forschungen 18; Mainz, 1994), 349–50. A “barber’s house” seems to be an integral part of a palace. Here, it belongs to the palace in Mari, because the “house of Sudduri” is located there (see Durand’s comment d). In FM 3 61 a barber’s house in the palace in Dir 2 is attested, and in 27 9, one in the palace in Qa††unan.

26 243 [To my lord speak]! Your servant [PN] (says), “About the house of Sammetar, which ªdeveloped a bulgeº 290 some time ago—the ecstatics of ªDagan tell meº all the time, “The god 288. uptassisu. Durand translates “endommagé.” 289. ªx-xº As-qu-dam lu-[x] iqbûnimma. Durand suggests [a-n]a Às-qú-dimx(dam) lu-[ú] iqbûnimma “On l’a dit à Asqudum.” 290. So according to Durand, who restores qí-du-[tam il-li-k]u and translates “avait fait ventre.”



Text 26 244

ªcursedº the bricks of that house. They must [ ] ª º and the fundament, [and] they must pour soil.”1 This the ªecstaticsº of [Dagan] tell me. Now, herewith I have written my lord. My lord must consult, and a response to my tablet must come according to the ªcounselº that my lord reaches in consultation. If my lord says (so), I shall have the bricks of that house ªcarriedº (off), [and] [ ] to the top of the city wall. And the soil [n lines].” 1.

“Pouring soil” probably means to make a new floor of stamped earth.

26 244 To my lord speak! Your servant Meptum (says), “Fire broke out in the house of Tispak in Esnuna, and it caught on and burned all night. And they extinguished it with difficulty the next day. “And the predictions that keep appearing are very good for my lord. My lord may be happy! Fugitive and informer continuously come to me.”

26 245 To my lord speak! Your servant Manatan1 (says), “[n lines] “Further: About the bitch whom Elamite dogs humped—the bitch is with Iddiya, the ª º. She gave birth to 7 pups. And they are not yet recognizable.2 They are very small. [n lines].” 1. 2.

Manatan was probably in charge of guards. Accordingly, he would be interested in guard dogs. It was not yet possible to tell how they would look—something that dog fanciers are always eager to learn.

26 246 [To my lord] speak! Your [servant] Lanasum (says), “ªAboutº the silver that my lord sent ªYakbar-Limº—does he (Yakbar-Lim) always answer with excuses 291 and never gives (anything in return)? “And further: Bunuma-Addu wrote Yakbar-Lim as [follows]: He (said), ‘[I shall] come and offer to Dagan.’ And Yakbar-Lim wrote to Imar, ‘Bunuma-Addu wrote me about entering (Tuttul) and offering. What is the decision?’ The Imarites answered as follows: They (said), ‘If he comes and enters ªtogether withº 20 men [and] offers, let him come and let him offer!’1 This the Imarites wrote Yakbar-Lim. I keep hearing [ ] of the entry of that man [ ]. Herewith they have written my lord about these things. [My lord] must answer, whatever seems favorable to him.2 “And further: a 3-reed length of wall of the palace collapsed. And they set hand to restoring (it).

291. e-le-tim-ma. CAD, elitu 9, posited a noun meaning “deception” because it is found parallel to dabab la kittim. Durand translates accordingly, “(réponses) trompeuses.” The basic meaning suggests “haughty (words)”; the context and the Sumerian equivalent i n i m . s ù . g a “empty (words)” suggests “excuses.”

Text 26 247



“And further: The second day of the month of Dagan came, and a malikum of Addu, who keeps you alive, . . . 292 in the house. And I became extremely ill about the offerings and nearly exited life, [and] until now I did not recover.”3 1. 2. 3.

According to 14 55, Bunuma-Addu entered with 50 troops before “the elders of the city [ ].” The apparent chain of command is noteworthy: Zimri-Lim to the city of Imar to the representative of Tuttul. Despite Durand’s discussion of this paragraph, it remains incomprehensible because of the term malikum. For the various interpretations, which range from “messenger of the netherworld” to “mushroom,” see Durand 26/1, 489–91. I suspect that the offerings that made Lanasum ill are somehow related to the offerings that are destined for ma-li-ki (Talon, “Les offrandes funéraires à Mari,” Annuaire de l’Institut de Philologie et d’Histoire Orientales et Slaves 22 [1978], 65–66). An equally mysterious passage involving a malikum is A.674.

26 247 To my lord speak! Your servant Baßßum (says), “When I met with my lord, I spoke to my lord as follows: ‘The Dirites need grain.’ My lord answered me as follows: ‘Go, they must give you 1 hundred (measures) from the granary [that] is in Dur-Íabim.’1 They did not give me ªgrain. I am afraidº my lord will speak as follows: ‘They denied ªgrainº to you? Why did you not write me?’ [I] ªcameº and (found) the earlier troops have sold ªgrainº for silver. The later troops came and wasted grain. Now there are 50 donkey-loads of grain. Not that they were consuming the granary of my lord, not that they gave grain rations to anybody—and 5 hundred (measures) of grain are gone from the granary, for no reason whatsoever!2 “If it pleases my lord, they must give grain to the diviner. The district is well. I do not neglect (supervision of) scouts and guards. “Further: there is bounty in this district. My lord may be happy! And let the diviner Ismah-Samas go and kiss the feet of my lord!” 1. 2.

See comment 1 to 26 146. The statement must be sarcastic.

26 248 Eclipse predictions. Charpin, NABU 1989 93, proposes that the calendar used here is that of Rapiqum.

[ ] acquires a god. The ªriver floodsº. In the month of Sunumuna (IV) an eclipse occurs: famine [occurs]. And a king, who is famous, [ ]. And a city ªlosesº its population. In the month of Nenemar (V) an eclipse occurs: the harvest prospers. The troops of the king ªare sentº on a good mission. In the month of Kin-Inana (VI) an eclipse occurs: famine occurs. And many troops fall. In the month of Dukuga (VII) an eclipse occurs: famine occurs. And a defeat of the other king will happen.

292. irbi. The form can be derived from rabûm = “to grow large,” or rabûm = “to set” (said of the sun).



Text 26 249

In the month of Apindua (VIII) an eclipse occurs: sheep drop dead. And destructions occur. In the month of Gangana (IX) an eclipse occurs: famine occurs. A god devours.1 A river overflows. And the harvest prospers. In the month of Abbin 293 (X) an eclipse occurs: the harvest prospers, good [ ] occurs. In the month of Uwarum 294 (XI) an eclipse occurs: north wind ªdevelopsº. The harvest prospers. And [ ]. And [ ]. ªIn the month of Segurku (XII)º [ ] 1.

That is to say, “an epidemic occurs.”

26 249–57 and 28 95 are letters that consist of, or include, reports about the procedure and outcome of so-called river ordeals in Id. Persons were required to prove a statement by plunging into a bitumen well. When the person undergoing the ordeal was overcome by the toxic liquid and fumes and died, the statement was proved wrong. Most jumpers survived. For more details, see my article “The River Ordeal in Hit,” RA 90 (1996), 7–18. The wells were regarded as the abode of the god Id. Id is the Sumerian word for “river”; hence, “river ordeal” and the translation “River” for the god of that name (see 26 191). The name lives on in the Arabic name Hit for the town near the wells.


26 249

To my lord speak! Your servant Meptum (says), “About the plunging party of Sub-Ram and Haya-Sumu that my lord dispatched—I dispatched reliable agents with that plunging party, and they first let a woman take the plunge, and she came out. After her, they made an elder take the plunge, and he resolved1 (the claim of) 80 (dikes of land) inside the god and came out. After him, they made a second woman go down, and she came out. After her, a third woman. The god spat out2 the third woman. As the elder established 80 (dikes of) field-area and the god spat out the third woman, the men of ªHaya-Sumu were not willingº to let 3 other women take the plunge. They affirmed: ‘ªCityº and territory are [not] ours.’ The ªelderº fell to the feet of the men [of ] Sub-Ram, (saying), ‘Do not let the other [women] plunge, and they must not die.3 We shall procure a title guarantee concerning city and territory. In days to come no one must raise a claim (against it). City and territory are SubRam’s.’ The courtiers of Babylon4 and the [ ] of the city had a title guarantee written down before the agents. Herewith I have dispatched that plunging party to my lord. My lord must ask them. “Further: The superior (of the god River) and Astammarum, the regent of Id, came to me about the plunging party of Yarkab-Addu concerning which my lord wrote me some time ago, and about Amat-Sakkanum of the kin of Samsi-Addu, whom River spat out. They spoke to me as follows: ‘We made her take the plunge (after saying), “If your lady performed 293. ab-bi-in is a hitherto unattested syllabic spelling of Ab-ba-è. 294. ú-pi-ri-im. Durand, reading ú-wa-ri-im, refers to 9 97:26, which documents a rite with this name for the month of Kiskisum, that is, the 11th month.

Text 26 250



sorcery against Yarkab-Addu, her lord,5 let (a confidential) matter of the palace go out and another (than her husband) opened the thigh of your lady, (or) your lady did not fault her lord” ’6—because of these things they made her take the plunge. River spat her out, ªandº she did not [2 lines]. This [they] ªsaidº.” 1.




5. 6.

The verb “to resolve” (pasarum ) is a technical term in the ordeal procedure, meaning “to confirm a statement by surviving the ordeal.” In the present case, the elder had made a statement concerning the ownership of 80 dikes of agricultural land, which was confirmed by the god River by letting the elder live. In the bitumen wells, warm water sometimes plumes up with increased strength, lifting out the body of any ordalist lucky enough to be caught in it. This was understood as “spitting out” (rehûm) the ordalist and probably was interpreted as forceful confirmation of the veracity of the ordalist’s statement. Before an ordeal, the parties decided on who would make which statement before plunging. The plan here apparently was that three members of Haya-Sumu’s party would ask whether the territory in dispute belonged to Sub-Ram, and three more members would subsequently ask whether it belonged to Haya-Sumu. The forceful confirmation of the statements of the first group doomed the fate of the second group. The fact that the elder pleaded for the life of the members of the second group speaks for his humanity. Lackenbacher, 26/2, 452 n. 5, sees in the presence of the Babylonian courtiers an indication that Babylon and Mari shared the government of Id at this time. Accordingly, the letter must have been written after 26 449. That is to say, “her husband.” The text of the statement is carelessly conceived. It starts out seemingly verbatim but trails off into generalities in the last phrase. A highly placed wife was accused of having performed sorcery against her husband, betraying classified information from the palace, and committing adultery. She was forced to undergo the river ordeal and sent a maid to represent her.

26 250 To my lord speak! Your servant Ibal-Pi-El (says), “On the day I stayed overnight in Id, we were present in the morning, and the brother of Hammu-Kuna and the woman, whom my lord dispatched for taking the plunge, took the plunge. The man came out. He was well. And the woman came out, and both of them came out.”

26 251 To our lord speak! Your servants Yasim-Dagan and Meptum (say), “Qisti-Mama, YarimDagan, and Sum-Na-Addu arrived, and, according to what our lord wrote me, we dispatched Íidqi-Etar, division commander of Suhum, Simhi-Erah, the son of Abu-[ ], a man of Abattum and 2 secretaries, our agents with them, and they were present with them at the plunge. A maid ªroseº. She resolved, ‘My lady said to [me], “After all, 295 my lord Zimri-Lim cast his coat-tail over me.” ’1 The Usmu2 [12 lines].”

295. Durand understands istu as subjunction even if the verb does not stand in the subjunctive. In that case the quote of what the lady said would continue into the broken section. I take it as an adverb.

274 1.



Text 26 252

On the basis of a Hebrew parallel, S. Lafont proposed (in NABU 1989 45) that the gesture signified marriage. Sasson points out that the Hebrew parallel signifies protection and does not necessarily imply marriage (“Mari and the Bible,” 107). This is the Akkadian name of the vizier of the god Ea. Here a human functionary is meant. Durand, ARM 21, 531 n. 9, proposes that he may have impersonated the god. It is unfortunate that we do not know more about his role in the river ordeal, which was a form of the judgment of Ea, the divine master of an Usmu.

26 252 To my lord [speak]! Your servant Yaqqim-[Addu] (says), “About (the woman) Rumatum, a ªneighbor in the city quarterº 296 of Sin-Iddinam, a man of Dur-Yahdun-Lim, whose name the wife of Sin-Iddinam1 invoked (so that she would have) to take the plunge in River,2 and concerning whom my lord wrote me to have her conducted to my lord. According to the letter of my lord [ ] Rumatum [ ] Sin-Iddinam. [I gave] strict orders, and a (person named) Rumatum, neighbor [of ] Sin-Iddinam, does not exist. [And] they ªwent in search throughoutº the city of Dur-Yahdun-Lim, and there is [a woman] by the name of Rumatum. That woman I have had conducted to my lord.” 1. 2.

Durand, 26/1, 513–14, considers that she was identical with the wife of Sin-Iddinam who is mentioned in 26 488. The reason was that Sin-Iddinam’s wife accused her of adultery with her husband.

26 253 To my lord speak! Your servant ªMeptumº (says), “[Troops] of Yamhad came down. [Those troops] took along [a] ªgirlº, a boy, and a woman to take the plunge [in River]. I went along ªbecause ofº the pronouncement of the king. 297 [Because they] were not carrying [a tablet] of my lord, I detained ªthoseº [troops], and [n lines. PN spoke as follows: ‘n lines]. You (female) ªheardº the lip of your daughter [and] came.’ They made her speak as follows: ‘(I swear that) my daughter Marat-Estar has not performed ªsorceryº against Hammi-Epuh, son of Dadiya, (that) that female (i.e., my daughter) has not given to me pieces of wood of sorcery1 in the city quarter or anywhere else, and (that) she did not give (sorcery) to eat to Hammi-Epuh, son of Dadiya, in bread, food, beer, or whatsoever.’ As they had made her say this, she fell into the god and died. She did not resolve anything.2 That boy is . . . 298 from sorcery.

296. si-ha-at ba-bi-im. Durand, 26/1, 513, equated si-ha-at with sa-pi-tum in A.2548:14 (MARI 4, 406) and proposed the meaning “favorite” on the basis of seªitu = d a m . b à n . d a and d a m . k a s k a l . l a . B. Groneberg, NABU 1989 46, and S. Lafont, “Un ‘cas royal’ à l’époque de Mari,” RA 91 (1997), 111, followed this interpretation. I understand sihat babim as “neighbor of,” that is, in “the city quarter,” for which see CAD seªu 1b. 297. qabê lugal. Why does Meptum not refer to him as “my lord,” if the king is Zimri-Lim? Or is the king of Yamhad meant, or Hammu-Rabi of Babylon, because he shared administration of Id with Zimri-Lim at the time? Durand suggests this is a technical term, which he translates as “autorisation royale.” 298. Durand restores pu-s[u-u]r “se trouve libéré.”

Text 26 254



“Herewith I send my lord that message. Another time, when a plunge party comes (from abroad), without tablet of my lord [they must] not [ ]. About not detaining Yamhadean troops [ ] concerning which my lord wrote me—before the tablet of my lord arrived [ ] I asked, and those troops have gotten underway [ ].” 1. 2.

Durand 26/1, 514, suggests that this was firewood for preparing the meal. The mother must have thought her daughter innocent. Even if she was convinced that her daughter would not die in the ordeal, she may have been aware of the fact that survivors suffered lasting damage from exposure to the toxic brew and wanted to take that risk herself. That she died was doubly tragic, because having proved her daughter a sorceress, they surely burned the daughter.

26 254 To my lord speak! Your servant Yaqqim-Addu (says), “I caught up with the 1 ªthousand troopsº in Id, and in accordance with the instruction of my lord, I, Ripªi-Dagan and the courtier Yarim-Dagan were present, and they put water on the hand of the wife of Iddin-Iltum.1 On that early morning they made that woman recount according to the text of the tablet of my lord, (namely), ‘Iddin-Iltum spoke as follows: [He] (said) “. . . , 299 and I left my clothes behind, and when I came back, they had left them among the clothes of the soldiers who were in flight, 2 coats, 3 shirts, and the 1 bronze goblet, the truth of which (fact) I confirmed some time ago, and which I mentioned to my lord.” ’ She confirmed the truth (of the statement) before River. “And he (Iddin-Iltum)/she (his wife) spoke as follows: ‘My brother beat a maid and killed her, and I saw it.’ This he/she said. That ªwomanº plunged 300 and. . . . 301 ªHerewithº we [have] ªdispatchedº that maid to my lord.”2 1. 2.

The hand-washing of the ordalist before the ordeal was part of the procedure (Durand, 26/1, 517–18). I understand the affair of the bronze goblet as reference to an earlier ordeal. The success in the case of the goblet may have triggered the second case. Possibly the third, completely different, case is also that of Iddin-Iltum. His wife seems to have developed a knack for surviving the ordeal.

26 255 See §7 (pp. 57ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Ishi-Dagan (says), “The troops of my lord are well. They drew close to the Esnunakean and met safe and sound with The Vizier of Elam and built their camp abreast 302 the camp of the Babylonians. [After] 4, 5 days I [entered] the palace 299. Durand a-di {[d]i [i]n} ia-di-in-du[tu i†-r]u-dám “jusqu’à ce que Yaddin-Samas m’envoie.” 300. dengur is-li. 301. Durand reads [i-l]e-{x} {x} em “est remontée.” The person who survived an ordeal “comes out” (waßûm) or “comes out safe” (salamum). Accordingly, we can restore [is]-ªliº-im or [ú]-ªßeº-em. The latter fits the traces visible on the photo better. The traces rule out a negative outcome, which would be imtut “she has died.” 302. ina irtisu, which is rare in Old Babylonian. It is also attested in 28 121, where it designates the location of a city with respect to the capital of a hostile king. Kupper translates it as “aux abords de.” The dictionaries translate the phrase “opposite,” but in the few known Old



Text 26 256

(and came) before [Sin-Bel]-ªAplimº and ªrelatedº the instruction [with which] my lord instructed [me. ] his instruction [he spoke] about ªEtel-Pi-Samasº and his fellow, (saying), ‘Your lord must have those men conducted, and I shall ask them for the ways 303 of the city of Esnuna, [and] they may return with a convoy to your lord!’ “And about the dancing-boy whom he requested in the past, he now likewise said, ‘That boy must come and meet with me. And he may return with a ªconvoyº to Mari!’ This he said to us. “Further: The Vizier of Elam has dispatched 2 Elamites to take the plunge in River. And The Vizier of Elam had said to the men, our companions, the following: ‘Let those two men take the plunge in River, and you [go on] to Mari! And return those!’1 I have written ªtoº my lord. My lord must know.” 1.

“Those” seems to refer to the 2 Elamites scheduled to take the plunge. Did they anticipate that they would survive?

26 256 To my lord speak! Your servant Zu-Hadnim (says), “I arrived in Manuhatan1 and sent this tablet of mine to my lord. My companion Samsu-Bal and his consul Yabruq-Addu, who came with me—the message which they carry for my lord is very good. “Further: 80 men from Imar, headmen of the land,2 go to take the plunge in River about silver of the goddess Baªalta-Matim. [ ] go [ ] Imar [ ] their securities [3 lines] I surely will not take their securities. Yes, in 3 days after (sending) this tablet of mine I will arrive before my lord. And those men have moved on to my lord.” 1. 2.

The governor of Saggaratum reported on the arrival of Zu-Hadnim from Yamhad in 14 30. It may refer to the same trip. Durand, “Imar,” 56, equates them with the elders of Imar. Asmad and Asqudum are called “headmen” in 26 35, where the context excludes identification with elders. In the present case, the writer stresses their high rank, which contrasts the low rank of most other ordalists.

26 257 “[n lines] ª3 linesº [This Sin-Bel-Aplim] said, and I answered him as follows: [I (said)], ‘The word that he spoke is serious. It is not suited [for ]. He deserves to die for it.’ That I said to him. He did not agree with me. He went ahead and had that boy put in prison. Another time Sin-Bel-Aplim spoke as follows: ‘They must go! The Haneans who seized the boy must take the plunge in River. If they come out sound, let them drive a peg into that boy’s mouth. Otherwise that boy goes and takes the plunge in River, and let River seize him according to what came from his mouth.’ [This] ªSin-Bel-Aplimº said to me. I answered him

Babylonian references outside Mari it designates the spatial relation of different body parts of a sacrificial animal where the translation “opposite” seems pointless. Since Babylon and Mari were allies, their camps cannot have been opposed across a frontline. “Right in front of, in close contact with/to” fits the context of all Old Babylonian references. The meaning of the Neo-Assyrian idiom ina irti person alakum “to meet someone” derives easily from the Old Babylonian use. 303. alkakat alim E. Durand considers various possibilities of translation in 26/1, 535 n. 4.

Text 26 258



as follows: [I] (said), ‘These, the ones who seized that boy, [ ]. And now [ ] with the troops of Yakun-Arru 304 [ ] do not cost one bread. They will take the plunge in River. ª2 linesº (then) let him pound (a clump of) soil on his head and [drive a peg into his mouth.’ 305 This I] said to him, and he did not agree with me. [ ] put into prison. [n lines].” It is very unfortunate that this interesting letter is not better preserved. It seems that the Mariote writer of the letter champions the cause of the Haneans, and the Babylonian Sin-Bel-Aplim defends that of the boy.

26 258 [To my lord speak]! Your servant [PN] (says), “They brought out Belsunu, the brother of Hazzuwuh, for questioning. 306 I debriefed him, and he spoke to me as follows: He (said), “My brother Halum-Pi-Ummu spoke to me as follows: “One part of the silver was for Kabbutum. And the second part was given to the singer Tir-Ea, a man of Hisamta.” ’ [5 lines].”

Letters 26 259–65 mention epidemics. The first two, 259 and 260, may well refer to one and the same epidemic, with 260 continuing the development told in 259.


26 259 = Finet, “Les médecins au royaume de Mari,” AIPHOS 14 (1957), 128

To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant ªLaªumº (says), “About the devouring of a god, concerning which my lord wrote me—in Tuttul there are cases of illness. Death is rare. In Dunnum below Lasqum is a corpse heap. 307 Within two days about 20 men of the troops died. And the ªDunnites leftº the city and went to the mountain 308 of Lasqum. Muban, Manuhatan, in the vicinity of Dunnum, are well. Dunnum itself is diseased. Mari is well, the land is well.”

26 260 According to Charpin the text probably dates from the eponymate of Assur-Malik. See Durand’s note to the text and Charpin’s remark in NABU 1992 30.

To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Laªum (says), “The hand of ªthe godº has abated ªon the bank of the Euphratesº and [ ]. It did not ªspread (more) infectionº. (Before,) 10 men, 5 [ died] a day. Now the hand [of the god ]. 1 man [ ] in a day. The god has 304. Ya-ku-un-ru. See the index of individuals under Yakun-Arari. 305. Restoration according to A.2071:10–19 as quoted by Durand in comment c. But there may not be enough space for it. Durand does not restore. For driving a peg into one’s mouth as a method to shut somebody up for good, see my note to 28 67 (Orientalia 69 [2000], 99) and, on a broader basis, Kupper’s note, NABU 2000 50. 306. The translation follows Stol, JAOS 111 (1991), 627. Durand interprets a-na sa-li-im as ana salîm “pour lui faire subir l’ordalie.” 307. kurullum. Durand explains the word in comment b. But see n. 312 below. 308. Written kur, presumably for sadûm.



Text 26 261

made peace. 309 I had [extispicies] done for [the burying of ] the corpse heap and will write a full report [to] my lord after (sending) [this tablet of mine]. “Further: Some time ago, ªI wroteº to my lord that I dispatched 5 ªboatsº [and] troops (manning them) to Id to load bitumen and asphalt for Harbe. 3 times the boats [did not] carry [anything] here, ªandº [Hammanum] wrote [about] ªIdº, ‘Agents of the king (SamsiAdad) let Esnunakean [troops and] the general Yamßi-Hadnu enter Rapiqum, and those troops brought into Rapiqum 60 liters (of grain) per day (and man) from the fields of Rapiqum that the Babylonians had planted.1 And he (Yamßi-Hadnu) dispatched 50 troops, and they are staying in Id. And they stopped the boats, (saying), “You will not transport (anything).” ’ And I wrote Hammanum as follows: I (said) ‘Write the occupier of Rapiqum as follows: You (say) “My lord wrote me as follows: ‘In the past there was enmity with the Babylonians, and they did not ªpermitº [us] to ªtransportº bitumen and asphalt for the needs of the house of Dagan. [ ] the Esnunakean [ ] establish (plural) [ ], and let them ªtransportº bitumen and asphalt for the need of the house of Dagan!’ ” ’ I wrote this to Hammanum. And so far a report concerning the transport of the boats or else their (continued) stoppage did not return to me, and I did not write my lord, and once that report returns to me, I will write to my lord.” 1.

According to Charpin, NABU 1999 77, the action of Samsi-Adad set up joint EkallateanEsnunakean control of Rapiqum.

26 261 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your [servant] Iksud-Appasu (says), “My lord wrote me ªabout my tripº. My lord ªknowsº that I do [not] put off a trip. The journey is on schedule. 310 And my lord wrote me strict orders about small-boats, and I was present 3 days where they fixed them up, and I had a burning fever. I am ill. I cannot go to my lord. “Further: A god spread infection in Zurubban. It did not yet calm down. And now he spreads infection in Zapad, and my lord must know this.”

26 263 [To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak]! Your [servant PN] (says), “The god has become reconciled with the ªlandº, [all of it. From] the 25th day [of the month of ] until the month ªof Tirumº (XII), the 5th day being in progress, [ ]. A sick (man) who was touched [ ] melted away. 311 I had extispicies done for the burying of the corpse heap on the 10th day of the month of Tirum. The god has answered. All of them were viewing (the corpses). 312 He 309. The verbal form is written i-sa-li-im. I assume it stands for the perfect issalim. It may also spell the present tense isallim. 310. uk-ku-ba-at. Durand translates “était prête à partir.” The D stem of the verb, which is registered as ekepum in CAD and AHw. and exhibits many spellings with b as third radical, is used elsewhere of the timely arrival of rain. 311. i-zu-ub from zâbum. Durand translates, without comment, “(ont) survécu.” 312. Durand reads ka-lu-su-nu im-ma-ar-ªkuº, discusses the possibilities on the basis of kalûsunu “their cantor” and kalusunu “all of them,” derives the verbal form from namarkû, and translates “tout un chacun de ceux qui subsistaient.” The derivation from namarkû is impossible for Old Babylonian if this verb is denominated from warkum, as suggested in AHw. I read im-ma-ar,

spread is 1 pica long

Text 26 264



(i.e., each) buried the corpse belonging to him. The exorcists and cantors cleansed the city thoroughly on the 14th of the month of Tirum. The god has become reconciled with the land. My lord must know this.”

26 264 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Masiya (says), “About the hand of the god, which abated in [ ]—I ªdrew upº a tablet of the ªdeadº among the weaver women, the cultivators, the [ ] and the prisons [and sent (it)] to my lord. ª5 linesº [n lines].”

26 265 ª18 linesº. “Further: receiving the grain for the grain taxes has been carried to completion. Half of the grain from the threshing floors is collected. But hand is not yet set to transporting the grain rations of the tax of the cultivators from the upper district.1 The sesame plants are sown, their growth is good. But the year is hard. The cultivators have grain deficits. When my lord comes, he will hear (the complaints about) their taxes. “Further: The hand of the god has abated. The palace is well. There are numerous fatalities among the domestics, the weaver women, prisons, and cultivators. ª7 linesº.” 1.

I am not quite sure what is meant. Here is a tentative scenario: the grain taxes were received after threshing. Half of the amount was brought together from various threshing floors to a central location, the missing half being the grain from threshing floors in the upper district. I assume that “grain ration” here designates the amount each cultivator had to pay as tax rather than the amount of grain that is paid to a laborer or soldier, the “ration alimentaire” in Durand’s translation.

Letters 266–70 and 274–83 mention illnesses of individuals, 271–72 an epidemic among dogs, and 273 peculiarities of Mariote medical care.

26 266 Villard, “Administrateurs,” 121–25, collects the sources referring to a war of Samsi-Adad against Larim-Numha and places this letter in that context, proposing that the author of the letter led the troops against Larim-Numha.

“[n lines] [on] the day when I was about to start out, a shooting pain went up from my foot (while I was still) in the palace, through all of my tendons, and it was raging down to the sole of my foot and up to my midsection. So I postponed the trip. I did not dismiss the army. Assembling the army, however many were assembled, was difficult (enough). And dismissing the army is difficult. The army is ª. . . 313º in Subat-Enlil. Within 5 days the foot will get well, and I will take [the lead of the] army, and ª2 linesº Larim-Numha [n lines].”

viewing the last sign of the line as erasure, and assume that the relatives of the dead were looking for their dead kin in the corpse heap. If this is correct, kurullum actually cannot be a corpse heap (Durand’s “tas des morts”) but, rather, some kind of a makeshift morgue. 313. Durand restores [pa-a]h-ra “assembled.”



Text 26 267

26 267 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Yantaqim (says), “My lord sent me a tablet about the physician Íuhhutum, (saying), ‘The physician Íuhhutum is staying in your district. Dispatch him to me.’ That man is not staying in my district. He is staying in SubatEnlil. And when I ªwentº to ªSubat-Enlilº, that man [ , and] I ªtoldº [him] the following: ‘My ªlordº sent me ªa tabletº about [you]. Depart for Mari!’ His brother (said), “Why would my brother go to Mari? He was staying there 3 years ago. And he went hungry. For what did he (Yasmah-Addu) employ him, so that he should return to Mari? I presented my brother to the king (before). And the king spoke as follows: “Your brother must stay here. I will employ him.” ’1 This his brother answered me. I wrote to my lord the answer that the brother of Íuhhutum answered me.” 1.

The speech of the brother gives the impression of rambling. He refers to the bad experience of his brother’s first employment in Mari. Then he asks why his brother should return, and then he turns again to the story of the first employment.

26 268 = Finet, “Les médecins au royaume de Mari,” AIPHOS 14 (1957), 133 To Yasmah-Addu speak! Your father Samsi-Addu (says), “You wrote me about the physician Íuhhutum. I dispatched the physician Meranu to you before your tablet arrived.”

26 269 = 4 63 = LAPO 18 1034 [To Yasmah-Addu speak]! Your brother ªIsme-Daganº (says), “About the fugitives who fled from Nurrugum, concerning whom you wrote me—dispatch me a secretary (from among them)! ªKeepº the physician with ªyouº! And from the fugitives, keep whom you want to keep and have the ªremainderº of them conducted to me! And from now on, keep those of the fugitives that come to you that you want to keep, and have conducted to me any that you do not keep, and I shall assign them where they can be assigned. About the Yamhadeans [n lines].”

26 270 To [my lord Yasmah-Addu] speak! Your servant Tarim-Sakim (says), “I spoke once, twice, to my lord about Ipiq-Enlil. That man ªknowsº the craft of a groom and a physician very well. [My lord] must see [that man, and] I requested that man from the king (SamsiAdad). That man is very capable. My lord must not leave that man behind.”

26 271 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Girinisa (says), “My lord wrote me about Bissean1 dogs. There existed many Bissean dogs. They went mad. [Those] dogs ªdiedº. ªThere areº none (left). (So) I did not ªsendº (any) to my lord.” 1.

Apparently for Bisrean, that is, dogs from the Jebel Bishri. See the next letter.

Text 26 272



26 272 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ili-Imitti (says), “A tablet of my lord about Bisrean dogs came to me. Because of your angels, madness fell on them, and they died 3 years ago. They have disappeared. Which are the dogs concerning whom my lord writes me, and (that) I must keep? [3 lines].” Angels help. Consequently, it must have been a positive development when the Bisrean dogs “went mad,” presumably having contracted rabies, and disappeared.

26 273 Guichard, NABU 1995 115, connects the letter with 9 149 and 7 221 314 and so dates it to the end of ZL 6u.

To my lord speak! Your servant Ibal-Pi-El (says), “Iskur-Mansum, a servant of HammuRabi (of Babylon), wrote as follows to his lord: ‘Plant oil is not put 315 on sick persons. And they do not keep catering to their wishes.’ This Iskur-Mansum wrote his lord.” Durand believes that the “sick persons” were Babylonians. But why would a servant of Hammu-Rabi inform him of curiosities of Babylonian medicine? If the “sick persons” were Mariotes, he might conceivably inform the Babylonian king of curiosities of Mariote medicine. But why did Ibal-Pi-El write this to Zimri-Lim?

26 274 [To my lord speak]! Your servant [PN] (says), “The city of Mari is [well]. I provided the gifts for the ªBabylonianº troops and their upkeep, however much my lord instructed me (to provide). I contented them. I provided 20 small-boats for the sick persons to embark. And I saw [that] there were many sick persons ªamongº them. [Those] small-boats were not ªenough for themº. And [I] ªprovidedº 2 large boats [ ] for their need. [6 lines] dead.”

26 275 To my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “The day I sent this tablet of mine to my lord, Sumhu-Rabi unfortunately fell ill. Not one day (had he felt any problem), not two days, on that day (he said), ‘My foot hurts.’ Like about 316 his foot (he said), ‘[My]ª 317º hurts.’ And all of a sudden he laid down his life. I am afraid they will hear (it) in his house, and slave and maid will take fright. My lord must give instructions, and under no circumstance must they (be allowed to) take fright1 in his house.” 1.

This may not refer to the shock that their master died but to their fear about their fate when the household of Sumhu-Rabi was brought to the palace and disposed of by the king. Sammetar was probably afraid that they would run away.

314. Correcting his quote, “7 211.” 315. i-na-ad-di writes innaddi. 316. Durand reads a-di-ma se-pí-su-x and suggests the translation “au moment même où il disait “mon pied.” I read {ki} ki-ma se-pí-su-m[a]. 317. Durand suggests ri-i[t-ti] “my wrist/hand.” Perhaps re-b[i-bi-ti] “my midsection.”



Text 26 276

26 276 [To] my lord speak! Your servant Sammetar (says), “My lord wrote me as follows: ‘A tablet arrived from Babylon. Come! Let us listen to that tablet! Let us consult and give a response to it!’ This my lord wrote me. Some time ago, when my lord stayed in Zurubban, I sent Dari-[ ] to my lord. The physician who treats [me] spoke to me as follows: ‘If you do not go out [from your house] during these 2 days that . . . 318 at the peaking of [ ], ªa godº will not touch you and you will live.’ That the physician said to me. [And] to the offerings of Diritum [14 lines].” The letter seems to treat three topics: (1) Sammetar acknowledges receiving a message from the king, (2) he informs the king of having sent someone to him, (3) and he reports about the advice of a doctor regarding his illness. A scenario for linking the topics is this: Sammetar gives excuses for not having come to the king to discuss the message from Babylon: he was sick and sent Dari-[ ] instead.

26 277 To My Star speak! Inibsina (says), “A chair-bearer informed me, ‘Sammetar died.’ My Star must know.”

26 278 To my lord speak! Your servant ªYaqqim-Adduº (says), “A carbuncle, which some time [ago ] on the neck of (the woman) [PN], erupted, and my lord dispatched me a ªphysicianº. He dressed that carbuncle, [and] she revived. ªNowº that carbuncle has become prominent (again). Before ªthe carbuncleº gets out of hand, my lord must ªdispatch a physicianº, [and] he must dress [that] carbuncle.”

26 279 To my lord speak! Your servant Tilani-Hesud (says), “Attuzar, the maid of Hussutum, filled up with the punishment of god,1 and I evicted that woman from the palace. Senior cantors must come and cleanse the palace.” 1.

The “punishment of god” may be a particular disease or a general condition. Durand believes it is a skin condition. A similar expression is attested in A.350+ (Charpin, “Apum,” 120–22), where a Hanean gives as reason for a death: “he filled up with the water of a god and died.”

26 280 [To my lord speak!] Your servant [PN] (says), “The three sons of Batahrum, the [ ], all of them, ªdiedº together. The other day they fell ill, and then Batahrum wrote me for a diviner, and I dispatched a diviner. The next day, in the early part of evening, all of them died together, and they were left for one night in bed. They brought them out [and] ªburiedº

318. Durand, [tattan]assabu “tu ne dois absolument pas bouger,” literally, “pendant que . . . tu resteras continuellement assis.”

Text 26 281



them. [ ] ª 319º. [And I heard] from those around [me, ‘ ] silver, ªtabooº [of the god], 320 is with him.’1 [The city] is well. My border guards are at full strength. [32 lines]. “[About] the wood pieces for wheel naves [concerning which] my lord wrote me—some time ago, when I collected troops of my district for a rescue mission and departed for my lord, a tablet of my lord reached me in Zibnatum. I returned from the rescue mission. I have dispatched right away 10 men upland. I (said), ‘Go! Cut crosspieces for wheel naves, together with their axle housings’ 321 [circa 12 lines].” 1.

Sasson, “Mari and the Bible,” 112 n. 52, explains: “When the three sons of one man died on a single occasion, rumors explained that their father absconded with treasures belonging to the god.”

26 281 The death of Apla-Handa dates this letter to ZL 10u. See 26 537 and Lafont 26/2, 511. 322

[To my lord speak]! Your servant Istaran-Naßir (says), “Apla-Handa went to his fate. They concealed it for 4 full days, until the day of offerings to Nubandag. On the 18th day of the month of Kinunum they made the matter public. Mourning has been set. Herewith Yatar-Amu,1 [ ] of Abi-Dagan, [ ] a message. [3 lines].” 1.

Durand, in comment c, demonstrates that this is not Yatar-Ami, the successor of Apla-Handa, but the physician Yatar-Amu.

26 282 [To my lord speak! Your servant PN] (says), “[Before] I listened [to the tablet of my lord], I was [not] happy. [And] my foot is in pain all over, and I cannot step on the ground. And they carried me to the house of the barber on a bed. Excepting that, I would have catered to the wishes of my lord, for whose (face) I thirst as for the face of the sun. Since my lord seized the city of Mislan, I need no further satisfaction. 323 “Further: Some time ago, I wrote my lord as follows: I (said), ‘They must take along 2 Haneans1 to the border alive and mutilate them at the border. Let them go alive to the sons of Yamina and tell how my lord [seized] the city of Mislan by force.’ [11 lines].” 1.

These are Yaminite Hana.

26 283 (obverse too destroyed for translation)

“And herewith the Quteans who were staying in Terqa move on to my lord. And they saw that I was ill. My lord must ask them about my being ill. I am afraid my lord will [speak] as follows: ‘[ ].’ [n lines].” 319. 320. 321. 322. 323.

Durand reads [da-a]r-ka-tim ù-[ul i-si]-ma, translates “il n’a plus de descendance.” So Durand 26/1, 554 n. 99. Or perhaps [of the king]. So Charpin, “Manger,” n. 33. tiyaru. See comment 3 to 26 285. Correcting his quotation, “26 280.” ayyasi maßûmma maßi. More literally, it means “for me, there is complete satisfaction.”


Chapter 5

Translations of Texts from ARM 26/2

26 284–98 are letters by Ußur-Awassu to Yasmah-Addu.

84–226 284 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the wool ration of the courtiers, my lord wrote me as follows: ‘Provide wool for the wool ration of the courtiers!’ I supplied wool, and nobody accepted (it) from me. 1 Now he (my lord) must dispatch me a reliable man whose (familiarity with) the courtiers my lord has checked,1 and he (the reliable man) must make the courtiers accept the wool rations.” 1.

The phrasing is awkward, as a more literal translation demonstrates: “Now, a reliable man, whom my lord has been checking on the courtiers, he must dispatch me.” Charpin’s elegant translation gives the scribe too much credit.

26 285 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the grass garment that ªis beingº woven,1 I spoke to my lord some time ago as follows: I (said), ‘There is no turquoise wool available.’ Afterward, (some) turquoise wool became available. I bought (it) but had to cause that weaving-project to be dropped (after all). 2 And when my lord was staying (here), that weaving-project had been ªdroppedº. Now that garment is half [finished]. Without turquoise wool, the weaving-project is dropped. Since ªBabylonianº 3 caravans do not come, turquoise wool has become scarce in this land.2 Now, if turquoise wool 1. imhuranni. Charpin translates “mais personne ne s’est présenté à moi,” which is also possible. The couriers did not seem to trust Ußur-Awassu. Perhaps they were afraid that they would have to pay for the wool offered them. 2. A more literal translation would be “I bought and caused the weaving to be dropped,” which seems paradoxical. The writer seems to imply that he could not buy enough wool to finish the job. 3. For the reading, see Charpin, 26/1, 9 n. 3.


Text 26 286



ªbecomes availableº to my lord, [my] lord [must] ªsendº 2 pounds of turquoise wool, and ªthatº garment ªwill be finishedº for the trip of my lord. “[11+n lines] to ªKar-Kamisº ª10 linesº. My lord must know this. The ªworkº of ªIliºUßranni [ ], which [my] ªlordº assigned as his work, is not being neglected. ªAboutº the carpenters, the chariots, ª6 linesº are not available. As long as [my] ªlordº is staying in that land, he must send tiyaru-wood3 to me, and I shall bring in many wheels for the contribution of the offering of Estar. If that is not so, they will be made of poplar rather than of tiyaru. As there ªareº no tiyaru, I gave Larim-Abum (further) instructions for [my] ªlordº. “Further: I keep sending my tablets to my lord. My lord must send me a response to my tablets.” 1.



The word lullumtum designates an unidentified grass and a garment. The translation is based solely on this fact. As the text shows, it was made of wool. The word may refer back to a time when it was indeed made of lullumtum-grass. Charpin notes that the garment was worn by the king during an annual offering to Estar and proposes on the basis of the present text that it was woven annually for this occasion. Durand and Guichard, “Rituels,” 28, suggest that it was replaced under Zimri-Lim by the taddêtum garment. At the time of Zimri-Lim, when wool from Babylon was scarce once more, Zimri-Lim asked rhetorically, “In the past, at the time of Yahdun-Lim, Samsi-Addu, and Yasmah-Addu, did they pay attention to Babylonian wool?” (A.1285 = O. Rouault, “L’approvisionnement et la circulation de la laine à Mari,” Iraq 39 [1977], 147–53 = LAPO 16 136). The present letter shows that this was empty talk. A wood used for making “cross-pieces,” presumably axle housings.

26 286 [To] my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the ªsoldier Gumul-Sinº who was assigned for (duty) on expeditions in the rear of my lord—that man [has] ªnot been seenº in 2 years. And they spoke to [me] as follows: ‘[He is staying] in ªTuttulº.’ “When my lord has ªturnedº his attention toward going, my lord must strengthen the guard ªof the soldiersº, [and they] ªmustº [ ] to Mari. ªcirca 11 linesº. “Further: I wrote to [my] lord about the 40 pounds of bronze that are (to be used) for the drum. And my lord wrote me as follows: ‘Obtain 1 talent of bronze that [ ]!’ I weighed the bronze pieces, and [there are] 50 pounds of bronze. And about aurochsen skins—we have located the skins that are available over here, and they ªareº not ªenoughº. As long as my lord is staying [in] ªthat landº, my lord must locate 4 large aurochsen skins for me and send (them) to me, so that, (when) they (the skins) are available, [the drum] will be completed ahead of (the arrival of) my lord.”1 1.

Villard discusses in NABU 1989 92 Mari texts with information about the use of bronze and skin in the manufacture of drums.

26 287 To [my] lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! [Your] ªservantº Ußur-Awassu (says), “[n lines] that he gave Ibal-[ , which] the boy of Tarim-Sakim sent me. And the garments that I sent my lord are ªwhatº the commoners ªmade. The garmentsº of the palace [ ] not [ ] until now.”



Text 26 289

26 289 [To] our [lord Yasmah-Addu speak! Your servants PN and] Ußur-Awassu (say), “[n lines] that [ ] on the tablet of our lord [ ] are not readily available. The upper floor, concerning which [our lord] wrote us, we have not ªbuiltº, and when the roof beams . . . , 4 nothing else (is needed). And since the upper floor is not covered, the vents 5 are not [ ] for being opened. Because of that [they] do not [ ] the vents. [ ] of the roof beams of . . . 6 of [ ] wood. [ ] goes to Halabit, they will bring ªroof beamsº, and we will roof the upper floor of [ ] and open the vents, [concerning which our lord] wrote us. ª9 linesº.”

26 291 = Yuhong, 201 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “I ªlistened toº the tablet that my lord ªsentº [me]. ªAboutº the chores [concerning which] my lord wrote me— I am having the chores done, [and] nothing at all is being neglected. The palace is well. And because until now [ , I did not] sent a tablet to [my] lord. The heart of my lord [must not ]. Until now, when they brought me the tablet of my lord and attested 7 the whereabouts of my lord, I did not [know] ªwhereº [my lord] was staying, [and] (so) I did not send my tablet to [my] ªlordº. Now, after they confirmed the whereabouts of my lord in Qabra,1 the (affirmation of) the well-being of the palace and my tablets will go continuously to my lord!” 1.

Yasmah-Addu had joined Isme-Dagan in laying siege to Qabra. See Charpin, “Toponymies amorrite et biblique: La ville de Íîbat/Íobah,” RA 92 (1998), 82.

26 292 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the slab of 7 reeds (length), which was cut in Sa Hiddan—when my lord was staying in Mari, my lord instructed me as follows: ‘They must make that slab into 3 slabs of 2 reeds (length).’ These instructions my lord gave me. I consulted with Tarim-Sakim, and Tarim-Sakim (said), ‘A slab of 7 reeds. . . .’ 8 ªI am afraidº the king (Samsi-Adad) will hear, ‘A slab of 7 reeds was cut in Mari.’ Now, my lord must consult with his father, and my lord must write his servant Tarim-Sakim ªaccordingº to the consultation of my lord with his father, so or not so.”

4. Charpin reads it-ta-al-la?-ku?-ne?-si?-im? and translates “nous arriveront.” 5. musiratum. Charpin translates “fenestrons,” referring to CAD. The word is probably derived from sarum “wind,” whence my translation. 6. saritum. 7. For the verb hâ†um, its meaning, and the interpretation of the passage, see my note, NABU 1996 64. 8. Charpin reads [ß]a-l[a]-am kúr? and translates kúr “comporte la représentation (du signe) kúr,” quoting Durand’s suggestion that this was an ominous sign. The photo is unreadable. I expect “is unheard of ” or the like. In this case Tarim-Sakim would have felt it advisable to consult the king, because the size of the monument to be made from the slab would have exceeded a comparable monument at the residence of Samsi-Adad.

Text 26 294



26 293 The text is badly preserved. It and the following letter belong to the same group of letters as 26 132 and 34.

26 294 To [my] lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the finery of Nin-Biri: . . . , 9 clasps and . . . , 10 are attached to the body of the goddess, and the goddess is ªperfectº. [5 lines] And the ªlandº, all of ªitº, will certainly see. If it (her mouth) should not be opened,1 my lord must write me, so or not so.” 1.

As Charpin notes, the mouth-opening ritual is meant. For aspects of the rite, see M. B. Dick, Born in Heaven, Made on Earth: The Making of the Cult Image in the Ancient Near East (Winona Lake, Ind., 1999).

26 295 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “The chef ÍilliTispak, whom my lord had conducted to me, approached me and spoke to me. He (said), ‘Nikkissida-Abi and Sep-Sin are two boys of mine. Ili-Imitti detained them in Qa††ara. And my lord wrote, and he (Ili-Imitti) did not answer a word. And those boys are not staying in the palace. They are staying in the house of Ili-Imitti.’ My lord must write (again), and they must conduct those boys to me. ªIfº not so, [4 lines].”

26 296 To my lord (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “About the physicians who are staying in Mari—my lord instructed me to dispatch (them) to him. I checked on them, [and] Iddin-Ili ªtreatsº the feet of Eressum-Matum and Yasub-Dagan. He is detained. [ ] Puzur-Malik [2 lines].”

26 297 [To my lord] (Yasmah-Addu) speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “My lord ªwrote meº about ªblack alumº as follows: ‘[My] father [sent me] Nurrugean ªblack alumº. I shall ª. . . 11 thatº black alum. If it is good, I shall send you much of it.’ They did not bring me any black alum. “And my lord wrote [me] about the untrained 12 boys under the authority of Ilsu-Ibbisu as follows: ‘I spoke to you about blinding [their] eyes. Why have you not blinded their eyes?’ On that very day their eyes were blinded.1 I entrusted [them] safe and sound to the hand of Ilsu-Ibbisu. “Further: About the men [ ] Ikun-Pi-[Sin] [n lines] Ili-Ußranni [ ].” 9. 10. 11. 12.

hi-ib-sum. ki/di -ni-ta-tum. Charpin restores lu-ka-al-[li-im-ka] and translates “je vais t’en envoyer.” la ba-nu-tim. Charpin refers to the unpublished letters of the chief cantor Ilsu-Ibbisu.

288 1.


Text 26 298

Apparently it was believed, not without reason, that the blind make better musicians. That the boys were “sound” seems ironic to us.

26 298 To [my] lord speak! Your servant Ußur-Awassu (says), “My lord wrote me urgently about the illness of Beltum, ‘Be concerned! Do not be negligent!’ I keep being apprehensive, (yet) I am not worried sick about Milady. 13 Her illness has ªbecome lighter thanº what it was in the past. It is not ªas in the pastº. “Further: There are no high-ranking matrons in the palace who can attend to Beltum and speak to her and cause her to communicate when 14 it is appropriate. Now, if matrons, 4 or else 5, who understand the palace and are ªsuitedº to keep Beltum company, are with Mubalasaga, [my lord must] have them conducted and let them attend to her. And they must advise her when it is appropriate. And they must cause her to open up. 15 The mother 16 of Beltum who came from Qa†anum—as if that woman did not raise her (Beltum) when Beltum was little and did (not) understand her mind. That woman, they cut her completely off from (her kin in) Qa†anum the day Beltum left, and they have (now) dispatched (her) to us in Mari with Beltum. And she has no understanding whatsoever of the affairs of the palace.1 “Despite the presence of an unreliable woman2 who was keeping Milady company, women-singers brought her (Beltum) out to the house of Estar for the suraru prayer 17 at the time when the bolt of the palace was set,3 and a fever touched her in the courtyard of the painted house4, and from that time she was ill. Now, the heart of my lord need not be concerned at all. Her illness has become lighter than what it was. After (sending) this tablet of mine, I will take a break for 4 days and then write a complete report to my lord.” 1.

2. 3. 4.

Perhaps “the mother” is mentioned here as the obvious choice to get Beltum over her state of withdrawal. Yet since “the mother” is encapsulated in her own world also, being cut off from her old home and not adjusted to her new home, she cannot help Beltum. Charpin believes that the unreliable woman is “the mother,” softening the meaning “unreliable” (la takiltum) by translating “peu sûre.” Apparently gates in the palace were locked at bedtime, siesta or evening, and Beltum found herself locked out of her quarters. This is the excavated courtyard, #131. See Durand, “Palais,” 49–54.

26 300 and M.14549 = Durand, “Protocoles,” 30, provide information on the division of administrative responsibility under Samsi-Adad (26 300) and Zimri-Lim (M.14549).

13. The writing, SAL Beltiya, indicates a name rather than the appellative “my lady.” 14. asar “where” is used here and in the next sentence in the sense of “when.” See n. 409 to 26 534. 15. listaptêsi is St2 of petûm. See my article “Sutawûm,” 168. The problem was apparently that Beltum was withdrawn and would not talk. 16. She is not Beltum’s natural mother but her wet nurse. See the references in Charpin’s comment f. 17. Translation according to the Assyrian word suraru.

Text 26 300



30026 300 “[n lines] ªEkallatumº [ ] the stores, the house ªof executive officeº of Ekallatum [ ]. Like the stores [ ] Liter-Sarussu and Hamatil [ ] the stores of Ekallatum. Masiya, the man replacing Hamatil, is to direct the affairs of the outside, fields, plows, ports. This he must direct. . . . 18 And he is the one who makes the accounts. Ußur-Awassu [is to direct] the affairs of the inside of the city, stores, [house] of executive office, craftsmen, ªprisonº, and ªfatteningº shed [n lines].”

26 301–43 are letters by Yamßum. He wrote 26 301–21 and 323–36 in ZL 9u and 10u as representative of Mari in Ilan-Íura. Charpin observed particularities of writing and diction that he attributed to three different scribes and labeled the groups as standard, barbaric (303–6; 310–11; 323–24), and mixed (318–19). In ZL 11u, Yamßum was transferred to Karana, from where he wrote 26 339–43.


26 301 To my lord speak! Your [servant] Yamßum (says), “[I arrived] in the border city [of ] my lord. The city of Ilan-Íura, king ªHaya-Sumuº, [and] the troops of my lord [are well]. 29 men [n lines] Dagan [ ] I ªsentº this tablet of mine from Ilan-Íura ªtoº my lord.”

26 302 See §32 (pp. 88ff.).

[To my lord speak!] Your servant [Yamßum (says), “The city and] the troops of my lord are ªwellº. My lord [instructed me in the city] of Silhan. [My lord] (said), ‘You go to the city of Ilan-Íura. And ªyou concern yourself withº 19 that on which I instruct you!’ According to the instructions of my lord, I concerned myself. ªI carried (it) outº. I have not ªincurredº wrong and harm to my lord. I do not write any news that I hear and my eyes see here and there to my lord, until [I] ªcheck onº such news.1 I hope that [I] ªcan continue checkingº 20 on [news] in the future, and [ ] a single false word. I am not able to [ ] my lord. [And] ªwhoº went to my lord [and] ªdenouncedº me [as follows]: ‘Yasim-El entrusted 7 Numhean slaves to the hands of Yamßum. He (Yamßum) violated the oath by Itur-Mer and my lord.’ If I saw something in the hands of Yasim-El or else in the hands of the soldiers, or else brought it into the city of Ilan-Íura and then hid that matter from my lord, who will redeem me from the hand of my lord in the future? “Haqba-Ahum, the respected servant of my lord, got hold of me before Haya-Sumu and submitted the issue of the Numheans, and nothing came up (against me). And (that after) 18. ana watartim. Charpin translates “en supplément,” in which case Masiya had additional responsibilities mentioned in the broken part. 19. ta-na-[hi-id]. Charpin reads ta-na-[aß-ßa-ar] “you will guard.” 20. Charpin restores the beginning of line 14 as [ú-ul ap-t]a-ra-ás and fits the form into his overall understanding of the clause by translating “Il est possible qu’une fois ou l’autre je n’ai pas vérifié ces nouvelles.” Yet urram seram, Charpin’s “une fois ou l’autre,” refers elsewhere to the future. I restore [ap-ta-na-a]r-ra-ás and translate accordingly.



Text 26 303

a check was made on me! Now, on this day, my lord [must know] that Haya-Sumu keeps writing denunciations about me all the time. That man was talking with Haqba-Ahum. [ ] ªnotº [ ] before Haqba-Ahum. ªHaya-Sumuº rose, ªandº he spoke ªthisº [word] to ªHaqbaAhum as followsº: ‘Why do you ª 21º [ ] ªYamßumº? Is that assessment the right thing? Nothing will develop 22 (from it).’ Haqba-Ahum, the respected [servant of ] my [lord], made an examination, [and] when nothing came up against me, [he returned] to Atamrum. “When Yasim-El passed to the city of Siphum, he had an ox conducted to me, and my boy brought it with his boy all the way to Qa††unan. Atamrum may have given that man (his boy) to him, or else Yasim-El captured (him). I do not know. That [ ] my lord must know! “[Further:] I heard from those around me the following: ‘[n lines] Hammu-Rabi (of Kurda) [ ] to do battle [ ] Open [the ears of ] ªHammu-Rabiº and establish peace [with ]!’ [ ] of Atamrum [ ]. Haqba-Ahum departed.” 1.

Iddiyatum states in 26 521 that he wrote, then checked, then sent his message. Apparently there existed a policy to check statements for their factuality before sending them on to the king.

For 303–5, see §20 (pp. 71ff.).

26 303 Photo in Dossiers d’Archéologie 155, 67.

[To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum] (says), “[n lines. Haya-Sumu (said)], ‘I shall go to ªSehna toº Kunnam.’ I (said), ‘Your adversaries Addi-Addu and Isme-Addu are staying there. Do not go! They will waste 23 you.’ Ulluri approached me the next day, and then we placed the message with which my lord sent him (Ulluri) before him (Haya-Sumu). He (Haya-Sumu) rose and (said), ‘Just as you saved Sub-Ram and Sammetar?1 And you will save me?’ And Ulluri rose to his face and (said), ‘Did you not . . . , 24 and did you not then destroy them?’ And I rose and (said), ‘About your fault you do not say “my fault.” Do you not realize that salvation is where my lord clamps down? 25 After Samsi-Adad died, there were 4 strong kings.2 And they did not marry two daughters of Yahdun-Lim. Now, you married two daughters of my lord.3 And you insulted my lord. Do you not know that my lord removed the Esnunakean, a strong king, without allied troops from the gate of Andarig? 26 Why do you insult my lord? Do you not know that the lance of Zimri-Lim and the Hana is strong over the land, all of it?’

21. Charpin restores [tu-u]ß-ba and translates “es-tu venu t’ajouter.” 22. I understand i-ba-as-si as a spelling of ibbassi. 23. itabbakuka. It means, literally, “they pour you out.” Charpin translates “affaibliront ta position.” 24. [s]a ti -ha-tim taskun, literally, “You placed that of. . . .” Charpin transliterates dì-ªa4-tim and translates “tu as exposé de (si mauvais) avis que. . . .” He notes that this word is otherwise exclusively attested as the object of sâlum. Moreover, it has /a/, not /i/, in the first syllable. 25. Literally, “My lord is salvation where he places his claw.” 26. bab Andarig . . . sarram . . . beli issuh. Either nasahum “to remove” is constructed here with two accusatives, which is otherwise not attested, or we must emend to bab . . . “from the gate. . . .”

Text 26 304



“Now, my lord must pay close attention to this tablet. Herewith now, 27 Ulluri, a true servant of my lord, who told hurtful things to his face, I and Ulluri have made him grasp (our determination), and he did not go to Sehna. [And] as he dispatched Íuriya and Aqba-Abi (as) his replacements, they declared a sacred oath ªwithº Kunnam, Addi-Addu, [and] IsmeAddu. Now the messengers of The Vizier are staying with the ªkingsº (of Idamaraß). They (quote him), ‘Conduct ª. . . 28º and go. I will lay siege to Babylon.’ The land has turned its face toward my lord. [n lines]. “Further: Write him4 and (say), ‘Come to me! We shall consult and then do what needs to be done.’ ” To my lord speak, “One lance, my lord, for Rabum!”5 1.

2. 3. 4. 5.

Guichard quotes (in “Guerre,” 28–29) parts of A.3194, where Ibal-Addu of Aslakka accuses Zimri-Lim of not having saved Sub-Ram and Sammetar. Ibal-Addu provided more detail: SubRam’s household was looted by a commoner named Samsi-Erah (not the king of Tilla), and Sammetar was “wrapped in a skin and handed over to the Elamites” by unidentified persons. According to Durand these would be Yarim-Lim of Halab, Hammu-Rabi of Babylon, Rim-Sin of Larsa, and Amut-Pi-El of Qa†na. Simatum and Kiru. Probably Haya-Sumu is meant. This is a postscript, a rare feature.

26 304 [To my lord speak]! Your [servant Yamßum] (says), “Since the day that my lord dispatched me ªhereº, Haya-Sumu did nothing without me, placing his affairs, all of them, before me. Now, since the king of Kurda extended protection 29 to his son,1 he changed his mind. He never calls me in on his affairs. He went ahead and let 3 hundred ªtroopsº [carry] tribute. And he ªdispatchedº Aqba-Abi. He (Aqba-Abi) went. He (Haya-Sumu) sent (the tribute) to Kunnam. I spoke and [ ] (said), ‘Why do you act in this manner?’ He (said), ‘Am I acting in this manner without (the permission of) Zimri-Lim? Upon the command of Zimri-Lim I am acting so!’ “And further: He let [his] ªsonº carry [ ] and [ ]. And [ ] they extended protection to [his] son, [and] they (Haya-Sumu’s men) carried [ ] as a good thing 30 according to the text of [the tablet] that he (the son) was carrying to ªKurdaº. “ªFurtherº: [ ] Dadi-Etar ªbroughtº silver and gold [ ] to Esnuna to ªAtamrumº. My lord must know these things! 27. “Herewith” probably refers to the things Ulluri and Yamßum told Haya-Sumu—in other words, “Having said that. . . .” Usually the sequence is “now herewith” (26 151:22, 313:51, etc.). 28. Charpin restores [nu-k]u8-úr-[ta-ku-nu] ta-ra-nim and translates “mettez fin à vos dissentions.” But elsewhere, the verb warûm, which forms the imperative from tarûm, means “to conduct” persons and animals. 29. marasu lugal sa Kurda ikdû. The old translation of kadûm, “install as king,” created the insurmountable difficulty that the king of Kurda at the time was Hammu-Rabi. The new translation, “gain protection for someone (acc.), from someone (acc.),” was suggested by Durand in 28, 209. 30. dum[qi] or dum[muqtam]. The context indicates a type of gift. But other references known to me that use these words do not confirm this.



Text 26 305

“Now, the daughter of my lord, Kiru, who ªis stayingº here, she (said), ‘Write my lord that Haya-Sumu never cares about me.’ Now she (said), ‘Since my lord could not care less about me, either a woman is killed, or else she falls from a roof.’ [n lines].” 1.

The king of Kurda probably assented to Haya-Sumu’s plan of making his son king of Tadum. See §23 (pp. 77ff.).

26 305 [To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum] (says), “[n lines. Haya-Sumu (said), ‘ ] Zimri-Lim. However you (pl.) [saved] Qarni-Lim, you ªwill saveº me.’1 [ ] this message [ ] Simatum, of Íuriya and ªAqba-Abi. Asº he (Haya-Sumu) went to Sehna, he bowed three times to Kunnam. 4 pounds of silver, 1/2 pound of gold, 10 oxen, 50 sheep, is what he took along to Kunnam. He returned from Sehna and (said): ‘What will I do? Why does Zimri-Lim not make peace with Elam?’ I (said), ‘Be hostile to 31 your enemies! Why did you undertake to advise Zimri-Lim to make peace with Elam?’ And he rose and [spoke] to Kunnam.3 He (said), ‘I shall dispatch [the troops] of Zimri-Lim (to Mari). Do not dispatch [your troops] (here) until he (Zimri-Lim) dispatches [his troops].’ Kunnam rose and [answered him] a ªwordº. He (said), ‘If ªZimri-Limº is hostile, [I shall dispatch] these troops of mine. And those of Nahur [ ], ªwhichº I [n lines.’ n lines] leans toward [ ], and [ ] to Babylon [ ] ªobservesº, and then he chokes (from fear). [ ] ªBabylonº like Esnuna [ ] observed him/it [ ] of my lord.” 1.



Qarni-Lim’s head was cut off in Mariote territory. See Charpin, NABU 1994 59, for the connection with this passage. The statement is sarcastic. It is interesting to note that Haya-Sumu did not repeat his remark about the fate of Sub-Ram and Sammetar, which is reported in 26 303. It is stated in the following letter that Haya-Sumu and Kunnam talked together. Yamßum’s disjointed writing style gives the impression that the conversation followed Haya-Sumu’s personal submission in Sehna, but instead, it probably took place on that occasion. Yamßum just said that Haya-Sumu returned from Kunnam. The conversation with Kunnam could have taken place before he returned, in which case the passage is yet another example of unchronological sequencing in the letters, or the conversation took place at a later time, in which case the passage is an example for the terseness of the letters.

For 26 306–9, see §22 (pp. 75ff.).

26 306 Photo of obverse in Dossiers d’Archéologie 155, 68.

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “I turned over a criminal [to] ªthe assemblyº, and [then we] extracted the ªfullº story from him. [He rose and] (said), ‘There is nothing ªto eatº?’ I (said), ‘No, we have been made to hunger for flour.’1 “They (the sources of the criminal, say), ‘Haya-Sumu will go to Nahur. Kunnam and Haya-Sumu talked. Kunnam (said), “If you tell the truth,2 go and give me Nahur!” ’ I heard 31. ni-ki-ir. Charpin bases his translation, “nous n’avons pas fait d’accord avec tes ennemis,” on transitive nakarum = “to deny” on the basis of 26 489:42 and assumes that ni-ki-ir = nikkir. I use the meaning “be hostile to” in both passages and assume ni-ki-ir = imperative nikir.

Text 26 307



and wrote that news to Itur-Asdu. I (said), ‘Do not give (permission to) anybody to enter Nahur!’ I opened his ears. 32 And he made an omen for 5 days, and it was not straight on their mobilization.3 And ªthatº news [he wrote me]. “Now the land is [ ]. Sheep, a thousand or else [2 thousand], are said to be ªbroughtº (to Kunnam). And ªnoneº among the kings [went] to Sehna. And the king (Haya-Sumu), whom I ªsawº,4 [ ] he (said), ‘[It is] ªIsme-Adduº, the king of Asnakkum, and not I, who [ ] in [ ] of Elam. 33 And [you know] the mind of Elam. Elam devours what is ªat warº or at peace with it.’ Now he (Haya-Sumu) wrote all [the kings. He] (said), ‘Do not go to ªSehnaº! He (Kunnam) will surely hunt you! And do not convene 34 an assembly!’ The land (of Idamaraß), all of it, is now leaning toward 35 my lord. And Hammu-Rabi (of Kurda) [and] his [land], all of it, is [leaning] toward my lord. His messengers keep submitting [ ] all the time. Upon listening to ªthisº [tablet of mine], write Hammu-Rabi, and [ ] with you [circa 9 lines].” 1.

2. 3. 4.

The paragraph is a vintage example of Yamßum’s writing style. Put in proper chronological sequence and logical relationship, it says: a criminal, possibly a deserter, was apprehended and hauled before the soldiers of the Mariote garrison. He came from outside the garrison, which is demonstrated by his surprise at not being given anything to eat. He did not know what was painfully clear to any soldier of the garrison—that they received measly rations of unmilled grain (see §31, pp. 87ff.). Apparently he had asked for something to eat and expected to be given food, despite his status as a criminal. After getting an explanation instead of food, he told his story, and Yamßum relayed the relevant points in the second paragraph of the letter. About Haya-Sumu’s intention to change sides to Elam. In other words, the oracular question “Do the Elamites mobilize to enter Nahur?” was not answered “yes” by the divinity. I believe Yamßum mentioned that he saw Haya-Sumu because it ended the period of noncommunication between him and Haya-Sumu and would have been news to Zimri-Lim.

26 307 [To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum] (says), “[n lines]. My lord wrote (Haya-Sumu) as follows: [My] lord (said), ‘My servants must be present in private council when messengers come to you.’ Since Kunnam entered Sehna, I am never present in private council. The news from Atamrum and the news from Kunnam, which they keep bringing to him, ªthatº news he himself is covering up. I did not hear the news that they were bringing. ªThatº man does not communicate from his heart ªwithº my lord. If he [ ] forthrightly [ ] my lord, he would write to my lord a full report of whatever (news) they bring to him. And he would send servants (with) reliable (information) of his to my lord. Now, in utter disregard, he 32. The expression means “I told him something he did not know.” 33. Charpin restores ul anaku sa ina [qibê] Elamtim art[abû] and translates “Ce n’est pas moi qui sur [l’ordre?] de l’Elam [suis devenu grand].” He finds confirmation of the restorations in the texts published in his article “Isme-Addu,” 167 n. 16. 34. ta-na-da-na, which is an incorrect form. Tanaddê is expected. 35. ªi-qa-adº-du-ú. Charpin translates “tourne son attention,” referring to CAD qadû B, which quotes only lexical references and argues that they belong to kuddu, which is supposed to mean “to pay attention.” I presume iqaddad. This verb is also attested in 26 410:34u, where Joannès translates “inclinent vers.”



Text 26 308

keeps sending to my lord servants who are not the right choice. And your servant Ulluri saw his incorrect report. My lord must know (this) from this report! “When my lord triumphed over his enemies, and (when) his messengers brought him (Haya-Sumu) that news 5 days ago, because of that news that he heard [ ] 50 lances, [ ] which he gave me [n lines].”

26 308 To Haqba-Ahum speak! Your [son] Yamßum (says), “My lord wrote about once, twice, and [ten times] to Haya-Sumu. My lord (said), ‘When messengers, however many, come to you, my servant Yamßum must [be present in] private council.’ This my lord ªwroteº. Now, the news of ªAtamrumº, the news of ªKunnamº, and the news of the kings of Subartum, which they bring him—I [am not present] in the secret council. And I do not hear [that] news. Now, my father must write me the news that he (Haya-Sumu) writes to Hammu-Rabi (of Kurda), so or not so. Haya-Sumu communicates with my lord halfheartedly. And he does not write his full report to my lord.”

26 309 Same letter, “To Yanßib-[ ], whom he (Yamßum) loves.” Yanßib-[ ] must have been stationed in a place where he had access to news on and from HayaSumu. The ruler of the city where Yanßib-[ ] was stationed is mentioned in the second part of line 19, which is unfortunately broken. For 26 310–12, see §23 (pp. 77ff.).

26 310 To [my] lord [speak]! Your servant ªYamßumº (says), “Ibni-Addu ªwent toº [Sehna]. He (said) ªto Kunnamº, ‘Zimri-Lim has installed me to be king of Tadum. And they removed me.’ And he (Kunnam) gave him a soldier. He (said), ‘Go, return to your city!’ And HayaSumu wrote to (the people of) Tadum, ‘Kill (pl.) him right now!’ But they did not kill him over there. [And] he returned to Kunnam. He (said), ‘They did not agree with me ª4 linesº.’ 36 ªKunnam imbibedº beer and made (words) to Ibni-Addu. He (said), ‘My lord (The Vizier) wrote me, “Right now Zimri-Lim will go against you. And he will stir up the land. Write the Turukkean, and the Turukkean will come down to you. Do (pl.) battle with Zimri-Lim!” ’ And he (Kunnam) wrote to the Turukkean, and they did not come to him. Now, consult with your servants and (say), ‘Why [ca. 3 lines].’ And your ªantagonistº—you (say), ‘[Why] did you invite [me] but did not come to me?’ Write him now and do not ªworryº at all! In your house [ ].”

36. Charpin reads [a-nu]-ma-na-nu-{x}ma ki {x x}-ma / [la] im-gu-ru / [m i s . s u k u r ] li-im e-emmu-uq / [é r i n . h ] á mì-at tá-na-di-na and translates “Du fait qu’eux, là-bas, ne m’on pas accepté, tu me donneras mille [lances], de quoi équiper cent [soldats],” noting that the equipment of one soldier with 10 lances is astonishing. The restoration [é r i n . h ] á is doubtful because this logogram is only used in the Babylonian writing style (see 26 426).

Text 26 311 = 2 124 =



26 311 = 2 124 = LAPO 17 554 To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “Kunnam did not know that Ibni-Addu was friends with my [lord]. And in his drunkenness he made words (to Ibni-Addu). He (said), ‘Don’t you know that the word of Zimri-Lim is accessible to The Vizier?’ I (said), ‘How so?’ He (Ibni-Addu answered), ‘A Hanean, who attends to the king, keeps letting (information) go out to Isar-Lim. And moreover, there are those in the detachment 37 who keep sending messages to Isar-Lim.’ Now, my lord must check on them, and there are those who keep letting the word my lord go out. And my lord must call them to account. Kunnam never tells lies. The man represents the lips of his lord. He never tells lies. I am afraid IsarLim acts the same way as Atamrum.1 Now, about dispatching Ibni-Addu ª. . . 38º my lord wrote me, ‘Dispatch him to me!’ I approached him. I (said), ‘Rise, go!’ He (said), ‘Since the finger of Zimri-Lim ªhas secured a holdº on me, who would do anything to me?’ ” Month of Abu (IV), day 10 [being in progress]. 1.

A specific incident of Atamrum relaying confidential information to an enemy of Mari is not documented.

26 312 [To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum] (says), “[n lines] shoved me and [ ] to [ ]. “Your servant Ibni-Addu, who [falls down] before the person of [my] ªlordº, because he was invoking the name of my lord, Íuriya, Aqba-Abum and Simatum caused untoward words to go around 39 against him, and they (his enemies in Tadum) tied up that man inside ªhisº palace and took him along to the city of Elali. They locked him in fetters. And they confiscated his household. I spoke to Haya-Sumu as follows: I (said), ‘That man has no guilt or wrong. Why did you treat that man as a criminal and had his household confiscated for the palace (of Haya-Sumu)? Because he praised Yahdun-Lim and Zimri-Lim, his lord, you treated the man as a criminal? Once something is done to that man, and [ ] of that man does not return, [then] Zimri-Lim will not communicate with you (any more). [That man] is a ªservantº of Zimri-Lim. You are not able to do ªanythingº to him.’ That I told him. [And] that man (Haya-Sumu) answered me as follows: ‘He keeps sending emissaries to my rival 40 and could not care less about me.’ Now, I do not know whether that man (Ibni-Addu) is dead or alive. My lord must check on that man. Now, if it pleases my lord—that man is truly your servant; that man is not committing a wrong (for which he must pay) with his life— 37. zu-di -e-em. Jean read Sú-di-e-em and understood this as writing for Suteans. Charpin thought they were Sudeans, that is, inhabitants of Suda. Durand reads zu-ke!-e-em, connects this with a word attested in Neo-Assyrian texts and listed in AHw. as zukum II, “Infanterie,” transcribes it as zukkum, and provides references. The translation “infantry” seems anachronistic in Mari, where everybody fought on foot anyway. The translation “detachment” is based on the phrase “1 man from one zukûm” in 5 17+:44. 38. Jean read [a-na] su-k[a-a]l-[l]i-im, Charpin [x x] ª†á-ra-diº-im, and Durand ISu!-dUtu ta-de-em. 39. Literally, “they caused words to be seized from one another.” 40. ana kaltiya. For the word kaltum, see 28, 66, with n. 95. In the references known to me, the rivalry is about kingship.



Text 26 313

dispatch me a reliable man, a rider of donkeys, who does not mince words, 41 and may that man (Ibni-Addu) live! Idamaraß, all of it, will be dead, not alive, because of that man. Because he is a man of Idamaraß, you must keep that man alive. My lord must be aware of these things! “Further: Simatum, who says insulting words about my lord—and my lord came before the god because of her, and the god caught her and ªmutilatedº her fingers—and (still) seizures befall her. “Now, Bali-Erah, the messenger [n lines].”

26 313 For the second paragraph, see §29 (pp. 86ff.); for the fourth paragraph, §31 (pp. 87ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “The city and the troops of my lord are ªwell. I listened toº the tablet that my lord sent me. My lord wrote me as follows: My lord (said), ‘Haya-Sumu [wrote me] about [your] ªdepartureº, “I dispatched Yamßum, and [he will get 42] ªunderwayº.” ’ My lord (also) wrote me as follows: My lord (said), ‘If Haya-Sumu says to you [“depart!”], ªanswerº [him] as follows: You (say), “If you dispatch me, dispatch me ªtogether withº my troops! Sever the hem1 and let your enmity be known, and [I shall] depart.” When [he (Haya-Sumu) makes] this decision, send your ªtabletº to me! And what I ª. . . 43 º [ ].’ This my lord wrote [me]. My lord [sent] a tablet [to Haya-Sumu, (saying)], ‘Concern yourself with (the message of) that tablet,’ and as my lord wrote him [ ] matters, he ª. . . 44º about my departure. This my lord must know. “ªBeforeº the tablet of my lord [arrived, Atamrum] dispatched [n] hundred troops. And [he dispatched] general Taki. [Taki] lead those troops, and ªIº (said), ‘We will go [to] ªMariº.’ 2 [Those] troops ªwent to the rescueº of Sehna. [From] Sehna [they went] to Suna. [From Suna] they went to Amaz. [Wherever] those troops arrive, they ªdefeatº (their enemy). [And] ªifº those troops who [went] ªto the rescueº (of Sehna) had been present (at the initial encounter) ªwithº the enemy, not one would have [gotten away]. They returned in 8 days, and [ ] I spoke to them as follows: [I] (said), ‘Over [ ] to Mari [ ] whereto we went [ ].’ Now, that man [falls down] before the person of [my] ªlordº. 45 And he [communicates] ªstraightforwardlyº [with my lord]. ª4 linesº. Besides Samsi-ªErahº, [the man of Tilla, nobody] who has caused [grief ] to the person of my lord, and who [ ] to the mention of my lord, [ ]. Those are truly [servants] of my lord. “Some time ago I wrote to my lord about your servant Ibni-Addu whom they [ ]. Now, they made ªthat manº stay in Elali, [and] they moved him on ªtoº Miskillum, [which] ªliesº 3 miles away. Now, at this time, Íuriya, the servant of Haya-Sumu, [is staying] ª. . . 46º. 41. sa ina awatim panisu ul ubbalu, literally, “who does not plead with words”; Charpin translates “soit impartial.” 42. Charpin restores a negation and suggests the translation “il ne veut pas s’en aller.” 43. a-sa-al?-[ 44. I expect “changed his decision.” But Dossin’s transliteration, pí x u m[a ], which is the only remaining source (see Charpin’s note to the text), does not seem to fit the expectation. 45. ana sir beliya [imaqqut]. Charpin restores this and the following sentence as negative statements. I believe Yamßum praises Atamrum and his servants, including Taki. 46. [x x] an na a [ ]. I expect “over there (in Mari).”

Text 26 314



My lord must detain him. Do [not] ªreleaseº that man [until] ªIbni-Adduº and his household goods reach my lord. My lord must ªdetainº him. The denunciators of Ibni-Addu are Íuriya, Aqba-Abum, and Simatum. ª4 lines. Therefore,º they treated him as a criminal. If it pleases my lord, let that man live (his) life! “Further: About the flour which to give the soldiers, my lord wrote to Haya-Sumu [once], ªtwiceº, and 10 times, [ ] 4 [months] the troops sifted flour. I spoke to him [as follows]: I (said), ‘Why don’t you [ ] the day after tomorrow [ ] they gave you.’ [ ] the troops were hungry, and I started receiving grain [ ] a man of Idamaraß [ ] the allies of my lord [ ] a god may strike the face of the enemy! [ ] bronze [ ] stone [ ] ªchariotsº [ ] his [partner] in peace and the Kurdaite Hammu-Rabi. Hammu-Rabi [and] ªSamsi-Erahº in [ ] they received cooked [ ] the next day for dinner [n lines].” 1. 2.

The expression denotes rupture of relations. See Guichard, “Violation du serment et casuistique à Mari,” Jurer et Maudire, 81. This abrupt statement may imply that Taki asked Yamßum to accompany him, or to give him some of the Mariote troops, and that Yamßum declined because he expected to leave with the troops for Mari.

26 314 See §31 (pp. 87ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “About giving flour to the soldiers—my lord has become tired of all that writing. I talk to him (Haya-Sumu) about giving flour to the soldiers, and he does not ªsendº word. Because of the flour, which he does not give me, I did not enter (the palace) to (attend) his dinner for 8 days. Now, there are (just) [n] ªdonkey loadsº of grain rations. The division commander, Ubariya, and the lieutenant under my authority receive grain rations like the soldiers. From now on, let his (Haya-Sumu’s) general1 receive 3 homers of rations like me; let his division commander and his lieutenants receive rations like the soldiers. My lord must not give them flour. Like the soldiers of my lord, they must receive (unmilled) grain. Now, from this day on, let the soldiers receive 21-liter grain rations. I and his general shall eat from our fodder. 47 “Further: About the herbs of sorcery2 that Simatum sent my lord—that matter is true, not false. My lord must watch that matter closely. “My lord wrote me about dead and runaway troops. My lord (said), ‘Write down a namelist and ªsendº it to me!’ Because I watch the troops closely over here, I have sent for the soldiers on furlough, (that is), now 20 days ago. Let the soldiers on furlough arrive here, and I shall inspect the name-list on the tablet and see (who are) the troops on hand and the runaway troops, and [I] will send a complete report to my lord.”3 1. 2. 3.

That is, the general of the Ilan-Íurean troops in Mari. Food was a common vehicle of sorcery. See 26 253. Charpin, noting the opposition “on hand” and “runaway,” translates these categories simply as “present” and “absent.” Yet “run-away” (b a . z à h) was a specific category of absent soldiers. See the statement in 26 408: “Herewith I have inscribed a tablet of the men on hand, (in the form of) a name-list, of the troops of the garrisons, of the furloughed soldiers, the runaways, and the dead,

47. kissatum designates animal fodder. The term is used here sarcastically.



Text 26 315

place by place, and sent it to my lord.” In the present context, Yamßum can only act on the king’s request after the furloughed soldiers have been called back.

26 315 See §23 (pp. 77ff.) for the first paragraph and 25 (pp. 80ff.) for the second.

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “The city and the troops of my lord are well. My lord sent a tablet to Haya-Sumu. My lord wrote me as follows: My lord (said), ‘Let them open the tablet (sent to Haya-Sumu) before you and listen to it!’ He (Haya-Sumu) received the tablet, and I did not hear the contents of the tablet. The next day I entered and spoke to him as follows: I (said), ‘My lord wrote me about Ibni-Addu. Have Ibni-Addu conducted to my lord!’ He spoke to me as follows: He (said), ‘Ibni-Addu is my enemy, and I have called him to account. Who handed him over to me, let him hand Askur-Addu over to me, and then I shall cut off his head. Now, let a god hand 2 ªor elseº 3 of my enemies over to me, and then I shall cut off their heads. ªBecauseº he (Ibni-Addu) entered the land ª 48º and [ ] the interior of [ ], you (Yamßum) (said), “. . . 49 [ ] to ª 50º to Kurda [ ].” I will give [Tadum] 51 to my son.1 My [son] will go there and occupy that house.’ And he spoke to my face as follows: He (said), ‘Go, write your lord! ª 52º the head of that man.’ That man is alive now, not dead. Íuriya, Aqba-Abum, and Simatum, the adversaries of that man, are staying with my lord. Until Ibni-Addu and his household goods have reached my lord, my lord must detain ªÍuriyaº, not release him. [Now, once] my lord releases that man, and he reaches [the city of ] Ilan-Íura, [the king] will kill ªIbni-Adduº, he will not let him live. [If it pleases] my lord, let that man live! “[Further: Kiru] wrote me. She (said), ‘[Haya-Sumu] spoke [as] follows: He (said), “[ ] ªtoº Zimri-Lim.” ’ She answered him [as follows]: She (said), ‘[ ] you go, and [ ] I live [ ] ªgoº and [ ].’ He spoke as follows: ªHeº (said), ‘[ ] with me and [ ].’ She answered him [as follows]: She (said), ‘ªOver hereº I am staying [in ] of heart. [ ] I will go there. You will not benefit from 53 [ ] here. I do not go ªwithº you. I will depart for Mari.’ And HayaSumu spoke to her as follows: He (said), ‘If you do not come with me, I will kill you with a bronze dagger and go.’ Now, I am afraid my lord will mention that story to his messenger without paying attention, and he (Haya-Sumu) will kill, will not let her live. May my lord know that statement in his heart alone! [ ] ªis painfulº. The god of my lord and Itur-Mer are strong, and [that man] does not communicate forthrightly [with] my lord. He does not make [ ] of my lord. [ ]. They drop (hints) about his having set his sight on fleeing. “Further: I am afraid my lord [ ] this report, [and] that woman [ ] the city will be stirred up [ ] my lord [ ]. He must [dispatch] troops, however many can be dispatched. My lord must do what is necessary for saving the city of Ilan-Íura and for not letting that man (Íuriya) and Simatum leave the city (of Mari). 48. Charpin reads mat Si?-na?-ah?ki. 49. lú s[u. Charpin reads lú s [u-ú “that man.” 50. Charpin restores ana ta-r [i-im ú-ul na-†ú-ú] “[il ne convient pas] qu’il retourne.” Possible is also ana tar[îm . . . “to take (a person). . . .” 51. Charpin restores [Kur-da ki ]. For my restoration, see the end of §30 (pp. 87ff.). 52. Charpin reads ªúº-s[a-ba-al] “I will send.” For this custom, see 26 511. 53. tuwattaram. The translation is based on AHw. watarum D 7.

Text 26 316



“I wrote about a bronze lance to my lord. Now my lord wrote me. My lord (said), ‘The troops do not have enough bronze lances?’ I did not write to my lord about bronze lances for the troops. I wrote my lord as follows: I (said), ‘There is no bronze lance for my hand.’ If it pleases my lord, he must send me 1 bronze lance for my hand! “The Elamites and the Esnunakeans who are staying in Sehna are stirred up against each other, and the Assyrian merchants who were staying in Sehna—they (the authorities on Sehna) have expelled them. This my lord must know.” 1.

This may be Sumu-Madar, who received a goblet on 13 XII 13 in Nagar according to 25 586, for which see Guichard’s reedition in “Zimrî-Lîm à Nagar,” MARI 8 [1997], 331.

26 316 See §28 (pp. 84ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “The city and the troops of my lord are well. About once, twice, 10 times, I kept ªwritingº about my lord coming up ªtoº the city of Sehna. Now my lord wrote as follows: My lord (said), ‘Send a boy of yours to ªYanuh-Samarº and Simat-Huluris, and they (your emissaries) must obtain a full ªreportº from them, and (then you) write to me!’ This my lord [wrote me]. I sent reliable ªboysº of mine, [but] they [were] not [able] to enter the city. [ ] Yanuh-Samar and ªSimat-Hulurisº [n lines] ªYanuhSamarº [ ] news on that city ªas followsº: [ ] (said), ‘From the garrison troops who [ ], Quteans and Elamites—nobody between them [ ]. The Esnunakeans [ ] among the remainder [ ]. La-Awil-Addu made them declare a strong sacred ªoathº to Atamrum. They handed over the city. Yanuh-Samar and Simat-Huluris pay hommage to my lord. Those men did not ªknowº, [and] then the city was left to itself. La-Awil-Addu [entered] the city. He occupied the city. And the 4 hundred Elamites, he had them conducted to Andarig. He kept the Esnunakean and the Qutean with him. The Assyrian merchants, whom they evicted before, they, all of them, have ªreturnedº to their houses. Besides the fact that the Elamites [ ] blood on the tablet of nobody. All of them [n lines.’ n lines] ªagreeº with him, my lord [ ] his 54 throne, and then [let] him act according to the pronouncement of my lord! “[PN], brother of Abum-El, [ ] is staying in the city of Sehna. [ ] they checked on him, [and] ªhe wroteº me as [follows]: ‘[Write] to [my lord], and my lord must write to Atamrum, and then I shall [go] to my lord.’ That man, your servant, is very intelligent. Atamrum understood his intelligence and took him with him from Esnuna and let him stay in Sehna. Now, my lord must ªwriteº to Atamrum, and Atamrum must not keep that man.”

26 317 See 27 86 and M.9623 = Charpin, “Kahat,” 79 = LAPO 17 549.

[To] my [lord speak]! Your servant Yamßum (says), “The city and the troops of my lord are well. On the day that Abum-El arrived, during that same night, troops went to Kahat and, upon their arrival, seized the city of Kahat and caught Kapiya. Attaya, who [is staying] with ªHaya-Sumuº, [ascended] his (Kapiya’s) throne on that early morning. Now, 20 [troops] 54. Perhaps Yamßum is advising Zimri-Lim to install Atamrum or, less likely, Haya-Abum as king of Subat-Enlil/Sehna.



Text 26 318

of my lord, ªattend to himº. Haya-Sumu ªspoke asº follows: He (said), ‘Until things calm down, those troops must attend to him.’ They enlisted those troops in the presence of Abum-El. “Further: The Kurdaite ªHammu-Rabiº, ªis afterº Zu-Hadni, [the man of ] ªSurnatº, 55 and he [3 lines].”

26 318 See §21 (pp. 73ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “I am well, the city and the troops are well. My lord wrote me as follows: [My lord] (said), ‘Write me news promptly, however much you ªchance uponº! Write me, and be sure about the person bringing your tablet! He must be strong.’ News from Razama broke: ‘Sarraya placed lumps of pitch opposite a tower and then lit a fire under the lumps of pitch, and the tower collapsed. And the fire consumed the leaners. 56 And the wall inside the city [5 lines].’ ªAfterº [ ], Atamrum wrote ªSarrayaº ‘[Give me tribute]! And release to me the troops that you brought inside!’ 57 He did not ªgiveº him tribute. And he did not release to him the troops that he had brought inside. And the city is strong. And I am afraid Atamrum and his troops will quit before the arrival of my lord, and so the fame of deliverance will not be established for my lord. My lord must take his dispositions and arrive here quickly.”

26 319 See §28 (pp. 84ff.).

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “After (sending) my tablets that I sent to my lord, news from Subat-Enlil broke as follows: La-Awil-Addu killed Haya-Abum, and Yanuh-Samar is confined to the gate of his house. La-Awil-Addu headed upland ªtogether withº his troops. I am afraid he has set ªhisº sight [on] Nahur. My lord must take his dispositions. “And further: Ibni-Addu (said), ‘I am carrying a word to my lord. I shall go to my lord!’ And Haya-Sumu does not permit it. Now, my lord must write here, and that man must go to my lord!”

26 320 See §28 (pp. 84ff.).

55. Charpin considers the reading [Su-u]r?-na-atki but opts for [x Tu-ru]m-na-at-ki because of Joannès’s belief that Surnat was located close to the Tigris. But Turum-Natki was active during the early reign of Zimri-Lim and not in ZL 9u. Moreover, 26 422 attests an attack by Kurda on Surnat, and Surnat is grouped with Ilan-Íura, Tadum, and Tilla in 21 3. So it fits the present context very well. Joannès relied on a half-broken passage in 26 511, where the grouping of Hadnum and Surnat may be temporal rather than geographical. 56. See n. 99 to 26 71-bis. 57. Durand, in comment l to LAPO 17 548, translates “fais évacuer la ville et donne-moi tes troupes comme appoint.”

Text 26 321



[To my lord] ªspeakº! Your servant Yamßum (says), “Atamrum to ªAllahadº and HammuRabi to Kurda ª 58º a decree to ªtheirº troops. They (said), ‘Who are ªyou (pl.) thatº [you are suspended] 59 from ªpegsº1 [until] the finish of the month? ªOnº the 10th day, at the torch that I ªliftº, they [must] be assembled.’ Atamrum and Hammu-Rabi ªgaveº this order. General La-Awil-Addu ªestablishesº a camp by the gate of Sehna ªtogether withº 2 thousand troops. He (said), ‘The cultivated zone must not let the inhabitants [exit, nor] enter,2 and must not [ ] life, [ ] we [ ] the city in our hand.’ [n lines].” 1.


The expression recalls the episode from the Sumerian story of the descent of Inana to the Netherworld, in which Inana is turned into a piece of meat and suspended from a peg. Inana and the troops in Allahad and Kurda are, as we might say, “temporarily out of action.” The formulation is strange. Presumably Atamrum wants to interdict communication between city and the cultivated zone around the city.

26 321 See Charpin’s interpretation in “Isme-Addu,” 170 n. 39.

To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “The city and the troops of my lord are well. My lord wrote me as follows: My lord (said), ‘Do not neglect your guard!’ Now, I do not at all neglect my guard. I wrote some time ago [to] my [lord] about the Asnakkeans and the Urgisites who gave Atamrum their full report [and] brought their ªgift of devotionº to Atamrum. [Now], he did not take their ªgift of devotionº [n lines].”

26 322 For the first paragraphs, see §25 (pp. 80ff.); for the last paragraph, §24 (pp. 78ff.).

[To my lord speak! Your servant Sumu-Takim] 1 (says), “The instructions ªwith whichº [my lord instructed me], the message, all of it, I ªtoldº [him (Haya-Sumu)]. And the message of whatever he ªansweredº [me] about those instructions—I will ªplaceº the full report (of it) before my lord when I come. I spoke to him about Kiru’s trip. He answered me [as follows]: He (said), ‘She may ªgoº!’ On my second entry (into the palace), I ªasked him for instructionsº about the trip of Kiru (again). He [answered] me the same way. I spoke to him as follows: I (said), ‘Since the woman ªgoesº, send word, and then [ ]!’ And he [answered me] as follows: [He] (said), ‘You enter in her presence, [and] speak to her, and [ ] the news!’ This he answered [me ]. From those around me [I heard] the following: ‘[n lines].’ “My lord spoke to me as follows: My lord (said), ‘[Did you hear] that word2 from the mouth of ªKiruº?’ I (said), ‘[I did] not [hear] that word from the mouth of Kiru.’ This I answered my lord. My lord (also) spoke to me as follows: My lord (said), ‘(The woman) Sarrum-Tukulti [heard] that word.’ And my lord spoke as follows: ‘[That woman that] ªword beforeº Haya-Sumu’ [n lines]. “Further: [My lord instructed me] about Ustasni-El. My lord (said), ‘Assemble the troops and [hear their] ªlipº! If the troops are willing to accept him, [he may keep] his troops!’ I assembled the troops and [I heard] the lip ªof the troopsº. They (said), ‘[We are] ªnotº [willing to accept] Ustasni-El.’ There are 15 troops who are on the side of Ustasni-El. 58. Charpin restores is-[pu-ru] “ont écrite.” 59. The restoration is assured. See Charpin’s comment b.



Text 26 323

All of the troops would ªagreeº to (follow) Yamßum. I will assemble the troops a second time, [and] I will hear their lip, [and] if they do not ªagree (to follow)º Ustasni-El, I will take that man with me in accordance with the pronouncement of my lord. This my lord must know.” 1. 2.

Charpin considers Yamßum to be coauthor. I assume that Sumu-Takim was the sole author, because Yamßum is referred to in the third person in the second paragraph. Perhaps this refers to “the word of Simatum,” which aggravated Kiru’s life according to 10 33 and is quoted in 10 32. See §25 (pp. 80ff.).

26 323 For the first paragraph, see §19 (pp. 70ff.); for the second paragraph, §24 (pp. 78ff.).

[To my lord speak! Your servant] Yamßum (says), “When Kunnam entered Sehna, there were no doubt many troops with him. And the land, all of it, was stirred up. I (said) to the herald, ‘Get all the troops up on the wall!’; Ustasni-El rose and (said), ‘My troopers 60 will not go up on the wall.’ The herald (said), ‘My commander sent me.’ He (Ustasni-El) acted maliciously 61 and shoved the herald. The herald (said), ‘Why [do you ] me? ªThese things are nothingº good. And the name of the ones who hear you, ªtheir nameº, [many] or few, (are witness): [you are] a rebel.’ [ ]. I assembled the troops on the next day, and my troops confirmed it. I went ahead and tore my garment in light of the fact that there were witnesses to the words. I entered and placed my ªwordº before Haya-Sumu. He (said), ‘No enmity, 62 unless [you place] that word and these words of yours before your lord.’ “Further: my lord wrote me about my staying. And you wrote me about dispatching Kiru. It was Sumu-Takim who told (these) words before the king (Haya-Sumu), namely, ‘My lord (said), “Dispatch whoever must be dispatched and keep whomever you keep!” ’ HayaSumu (said), ‘Ustasni-El must stay, and Yamßum must go!’ I (said), ‘After my lord speaks to me, [I] will depart.’ [And to] my ªbrothersº who ªstroveº 63 to get away from the palace (of Haya-Sumu) [ ] palace [ ], I (said), ‘I will depart.’ They (said), ‘So you go out, and we will depart after you. They (said), ‘Is it little that he has been exploiting us for 4 years? And now you leave us behind, and he may still exploit us?’ They entered and started talking to the king. They (said), ‘He (Ustasni-El) will not give us commands.’ Haya-Sumu (said), ‘I do hate many troops and I do love the single (man). 64 Go home!’ Rabiyam ªrose, ‘Zarhanumº is trusted. 65 [n lines.’ n lines]. Herewith he departs for my lord. If [3 lines].”

26 324 See §25 (pp. 80ff.).

60. Charpin translates “les soldats” and comments “la lettre oppose ‘la troupe’ (ßa-bu-um) et ‘les soldats’ (ßa-bu-yu).” I read ßa-bu-wa, according to GAG §42g n. 2, and §21h. 61. [ì]s-pa-aT. See Stol, BiOr 29 (1972), 276–77. The verb is probably sapatum, for which CAD guesses a meaning “to be malicious.” It fits well here and in 28 70:10. 62. la nukurtum. Charpin translates “pas de bagarre.” 63. So, according to Charpin, who reads [iß-ßa-r]i-mu-ma and translates “ne rêvent que de.” 64. Charpin translates “Je préfère une troupe unie.” 65. Zarhanum is a place-name. The statement is strange.

Text 26 325



To my lord speak! Your servant Yamßum (says), “About the tablet that my lord sent me about Kiru—you (said), ‘Take action and let them dispatch that woman to me!’ I listened to the tablet of my lord and [then] spoke to Haya-Sumu. He did ªnotº agree with me. ªNowº he assembled his servants (in this matter), and I (said), ‘Since you [do not] ªlistenº to my words, make light of [ ], you evict me [ ].’ I used strong words on him, and ª4 linesº [n lines]. Now, my lord [must dispatch] ªa chariotº, and the woman must ªdepartº! And 7 pack asses. As soon as my lord hears this tablet of mine, he must ªwriteº me quickly, and then [they] must ªdispatchº the woman. There are some ªunderhandedº words of ªthe palaceº (going around). Let ªthatº woman get there and tell [you] (the story) in detail! “Now, the amount 66 of [ ] that I [ ] in [ ] and the child in ªÍuprumº? They gave me a field-area of 3 dikes of surface in (settling) the suit. Hazani-El, the owner of the field, disputed the (payment of) 1/2 pound of silver and took it (the field) away. Now, herewith I have written my brother who takes care of my household. Let him enter ªbeforeº the king and make [a statement] about his (Hazani-El’s) [ ]. My lord [must] give strict orders, and then nobody must approach my house.”

26 325 See §27 (pp. 83ff.).

To my lord ªspeakº! [Your servant] Yamßum (says), “Kunnam took along ªElamitesº,1 [and he ] Simat-Huluris [ ] him in Sehna. And the land was stirred up. All the kings had provided their troops. Troops under my authority seized two Elamite informers in the border region, and I (said),