The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser

"When the Lord has finished all His work...he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride."
Isaiah 10:12

The Text on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser

Face A
[1] Assur, the great Lord, the King of all
[2] the great gods; Anu, King of the spirits of heaven
[3] and the spirits of earth, the god, Lord of the world; Bel
[4] the Supreme, Father of the gods, the Creator;
[5] Hea, King of the deep, determiner of destinies,
[6] the King of crowns, drinking in brilliance;
[7] Rimmon, the crowned hero, Lord of canals; the Sun-god
[8] the Judge of heaven and earth, the urger on of all;
[9] (Merodach), Prince of the gods, Lord of battles; Adar, the terrible,
[10] (Lord) of the spirits of heaven and the spirits of earth, the exceeding strong god; Nergal,
[11] the powerful (god), King of the battle; Nebo, the bearer of the high sceptre,
[12] the god, the Father above; Beltis, the wife of Bel, mother of the (great) gods;
[13] Istar, sovereign of heaven and earth, who the face of heroism perfectest;
[14] the great (gods), determining destinies, making great my kingdom.
[15] (I am) Shalmaneser, King of multitudes of men, prince (and) hero of Assur, the strong King,
[16] King of all the four zones of the Sun (and) of multitudes of men, the marcher over
[17] the whole world; Son of Assur-natsir-pal, the supreme hero, who his heroism over the gods
[18] has made good and has caused all the world to kiss his feet;

Face B
[19] the noble offspring of Tiglath-Adar
[20] who has laid his yoke upon all lands hostile to him, and
[21] has swept (them) like a whirlwind.
[22] At the beginning of my reign, when on the throne
[23] of royalty mightily I had seated myself, the chariots
[24] of my host I collected. Into the lowlands of the country of 'Sime'si
[25] I descended. The city of Aridu, the strong city
[26] of Ninni, I took. In my first year
[27] the Euphrates in its flood I crossed. To the sea of the setting sun
[28] I went. My weapons on the sea I rested. Victims
[29] for my gods I took. To mount Amanus I went up.
[30] Logs of cedar-wood and pine-wood I cut. To
[31] the country of Lallar I ascended. An image of my Royalty in the midst (of it) I erected.
[32] In my second year to the city of Tel-Barsip I approached. The cities
[33] of Akhuni the son of Adin I captured. In his city I shut him up. The Euphrates
[34] in its flood I crossed. The city of Dabigu, a choice city of the Hittites
[35] together with the cities which (were) dependent upon it I captured. In my third year Akhuni
[36] the son of Adin, from the face of my mighty weapons fled, and the city of Tel-Barsip,

Face C
[37] his royal city, he fortified. The Euphrates I crossed.
[38] The city unto Assyria I restored. I took it. (The town) which (is) on the further side
[39] of the Euphrates which (is) upon the river 'Sagurri, which the Kings
[40] of the Hittites call the city of Pitru,
[41] for myself I took. At my return
[42] into the lowlands of the country of Alzi I descended. The country of Alzi I conquered.
[43] The countries of Dayaeni (and) Elam, (and) the city of Arzascunu, the royal city
[44] of Arame of the country of the Armenians, the country of Gozan (and) the country of Khupuscia.
[45] During the eponymy of Dayan-Assur from the city of Nineveh I departed. The Euphrates
[46] in its upper part I crossed. After Akhuni the son of Adin I went.
[47] The heights on the banks of the Euphrates as his stronghold he made.
[48] The mountains I attacked, I captured. Akhuni with his gods, his chariots,
[49] his horses, his sons (and) his daughters I carried away. To my city Assur
[50] I brought (them). In that same year the country of Kullar I crossed. To the country of Zamua
[51] of Bit-Ani I went down. The cities of Nigdiara of the city of the Idians
[52] (and) Nigdima I captured. In my fifth year to the country of Kasyari I ascended.
[53] The strongholds I captured. Elkhitti of the Serurians (in) his city I shut up. His tribute
[54] to a large amount I received. In my sixth year to the cities on the banks of the river Balikhi

Face D
[55] I approached. Gi'ammu, their Governor, I smote.
[56] To the city of Tel-abil-akhi I descended.
[57] The Euphrates in its upper part I crossed.
[58] The tribute of the Kings of the Hittites
[59] all of them I received. In those days Rimmon-idri
[60] of Damascus, Irkhulina of Hamath,. and the Kings
[61] of the Hittites and of the sea-coasts to the forces of each other
[62] trusted, and to make war and battle
[63] against me came. By the command of Assur, the great Lord, my Lord,
[64] with them I fought. A destruction of them I made.
[65] Their chariots, their war-carriages, their war-material I took from them.
[66] 20,500 of their fighting men with arrows I slew.
[67] In my seventh year to the cities of Khabini of the city of Tel-Abni I went.
[68] The City of Tel-Abni, his stronghold, together with the cities which (were) dependent on it I captured.
[69] To the head of the river, the springs of the Tigris, the place where the waters rise, I went.
[70] The weapons of Assur in the midst (of it) I rested. Sacrifices for my gods I took. Feasts and rejoicing
[71] I made. An image of my Royalty of large size I constructed. The laws of Assur my Lord, the records
[72] of my victories, whatsoever in the world I had done, in the midst of it I wrote. In the middle (of the country) I set (it) up.

Face A, base
[73] In my eighth year, Merodach-suma-iddin King of Gan-Dunias
[74] did Merodach-bila-yu'sate his foster-brother against him rebel;
[75] strongly had he fortified (the land). To exact punishment
[76] against Merodach-suma-iddin I went. The city of the waters of the Dhurnat I took.
[77] In my ninth campaign a second time to the land of Accad I went.
[78] The city of Gana-nate I besieged. Merodach-bila-yu'sate exceeding fear
[79] of Assur (and) Merodach overwhelmed, and to save his life to
[80] the mountains he ascended. After him I rode. Merodach-bila-yu'sate (and) the officers
[81] the rebels who (were) with him (with) arrows I slew. To the great fortresses
[82] I went. Sacrifices in Babylon, Borsippa, (and) Cuthah I made.
[83] Thanksgivings to the great gods I offered up. To the country of Kaldu I descended. Their cities I captured.
[84] The tribute of the Kings of the country of Kaldu I received. The greatness of my arms as far as the sea overwhelmed.
[85] In my tenth year for the eighth time the Euphrates I crossed. The cities of 'Sangara of the city of the Carchemishians I captured.
[86] To the cities of Arame I approached. Arne his royal city with 100 of his (other) towns I captured.
[87] In my eleventh year for the ninth time the Euphrates I crossed. Cities to a countless number I captured. To the cities of the Hittites
[88] of the land of the Hamathites I went down. Eighty-nine cities I took. Rimmon-idri of Damascus (and) twelve of the Kings of the Hittites
[89] with one another's forces strengthened themselves. A destruction of them I made. In my twelfth campaign for the tenth time the Euphrates I crossed.
[90] To the land of Pagar-khubuna I went. Their spoil I carried away. In my thirteenth year to the country of Yaeti I ascended.
[91] Their spoil I carried away. In my fourteenth year the country I assembled; the Euphrates I crossed. Twelve Kings against me had come.
[92] I fought. A destruction of them I made. In my fifteenth year among the sources of the Tigris (and) the Euphrates I went. An image
[93] of my Majesty in their hollows I erected. In my sixteenth year the waters of the Zab I crossed. To the country of Zimri
[94] I went. Merodach-mudammik King of the land of Zimru to save his life (the mountains) ascended. His treasure
[95] his army (and) his gods to Assyria I brought. Yan'su son of Khanban to the kingdom over them I raised.

Face B, base
[96] In my seventeenth year the Euphrates I crossed. To the land of Amanus I ascended. Logs
[97] of cedar I cut. In my eighteenth year for the sixteenth time the Euphrates I crossed. Hazael
[98] of Damascus to battle came. 1,221 of his chariots, 470 of his war-carriages with
[99] his camp I took from him. In my nineteenth campaign for the eighteenth time the Euphrates I crossed. To the land of Amanus
[100] I ascended. Logs of cedar I cut. In my 20th year for the 20th time the Euphrates
[101] I crossed. To the land of Kahue I went down. Their cities I captured. Their spoil
[102] I carried off. In my 21st campaign, for the 21st time the Euphrates I crossed. To the cities
[103] of Hazael of Damascus I went. Four of his fortresses I took. The tribute of the Tyrians,
[104] the Zidonians (and) the Gebalites I received. In my 22d campaign for the 22d time the Euphrates
[105] I crossed. To the country of Tabalu I went down. In those days (as regards) the 24
[106] Kings of the country of Tabalu their wealth I received. To conquer
[107] the mines of silver, of salt and of stone for sculpture I went. In my 23d year
[108] the Euphrates I crossed. The city of Uetas, his strong city,
[109] (which belonged) to Lalla of the land of the Milidians I captured. The Kings of the country of Tabalu
[110] had set out. Their tribute I received. In my 24th year, the lower Zab
[111] I crossed. The land of Khalimmur I passed through. To the land of Zimru
[112] I went down. Yan'su King of the Zimri from the face
[113] of my mighty weapons fled and to save his life
[114] ascended (the mountains). The cities of 'Sikhisatakh, Bit-Tamul, Bit-Sacci
[115] (and) Bit-Sedi, his strong cities, I captured. His fighting men I slew.
[116] His spoil I carried away. The cities I threw down, dug up, (and) with fire burned.
[117] The rest of them to the mountains ascended. The peaks of the mountains
[118] I attacked, I captured. Their fighting men I slew. Their spoil (and) their goods
[119] I caused to be brought down. From the country of Zimru I departed. The tribute of 27 Kings
[120] of the country of Par'sua I received. From the country of Par'sua I departed. To
[121] the strongholds of the country of the Amadai, (and) the countries of Arazias (and) Kharkhar I went down.
[122] The cities of Cua-cinda, Khazzanabi, Ermul,
[123] (and) Cin-ablila with the cities which were dependent on them I captured. Their fighting men

Face C, base
[124] I slew. Their spoil I carried away. The cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. An image of my Majesty
[125] in the country of Kharkhara I set up. Yan'su son of Khaban with his abundant treasures
[126] his gods, his sons, his daughters, his soldiers in large numbers I carried off. To Assyria I brought (them). In my 25th campaign
[127] the Euphrates at its flood I crossed. The tribute of the Kings of the Hittites, all of them, I received. The country of Amanus
[128] I traversed. To the cities of Cati of the country of the Kahuians I descended. The city of Timur, his strong city
[129] I besieged, I captured. Their fighting men I slew. Its spoil I carried away. The cities to a countless number I threw down, dug up,
[130] (and) burned with fire. On my return, the city of Muru, the strong city of Arame the son of Agu'si,
[131] (as) a possession for myself I took. Its entrance-space I marked out. A palace, the seat of my Majesty, in the middle (of it) I founded.
[132] In my 26th year for the seventh time the country of the Amanus I traversed. For the fourth time to the cities of Cati
[133] of the country of the Kahuians I went. The city of Tanacun, the strong city of Tulca I approached. Exceeding fear
[134] of Assur my Lord overwhelmed him and (when) he had come out my feet he took. His hostages I took. Silver, gold,
[135] iron, oxen, (and) sheep, (as) his tribute I received. From the city of Tanacun I departed. To the country of Lamena
[136] I went. The men collected themselves. An inaccessible mountain they occupied. The peak of the mountain I assailed,
[137] I took. Their fighting men I slew. Their spoil, their oxen, their sheep, from the midst of the mountain I brought down.
[138] Their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. To the city of Khazzi I went. My feet they took. Silver (and) gold,
[139] their tribute, I received. Cirri, the brother of Cati to the sovereignty over them
[140] I set. On my return to the country of Amanus I ascended. Beams of cedar I cut,
[141] I removed, to my city Assur I brought. In my 27th year the chariots of my armies I mustered. Dayan-Assur
[142] the Tartan, the Commander of the wide-spreading army, at the head of my army to the country of Armenia I urged,
[143] I sent. To Bit-Zamani he descended. Into the low ground to the city of Ammas he went down. The river Arzane he crossed.
[144] 'Seduri of the country of the Armenians heard, and to the strength of his numerous host
[145] he trusted; and to make conflict (and) battle against me he came. With him I fought.
[146] A destruction of him I made. With the flower of his youth his broad fields I filled. In my 28th year
[147] when in the city of Calah I was stopping news had been brought (me, that) men of the Patinians
[148] Lubarni their Lord had slain (and) 'Surri (who was) not heir to the throne to the kingdom had raised.
[149] Dayan-Assur the Tartan, the Commander of the widespreading army at the head of my host (and) my camp
[150] I urged, I sent. The Euphrates in its flood he crossed. In the city of Cinalua his royal city
[151] a slaughter he made. (As for) 'Surri the usurper, exceeding fear of Assur my Lord
[152] overwhelmed him, and the death of his destiny he went. The men of the country of the Patinians from before the sight of my mighty weapons

Face D, base
[153] fled, and the children of 'Surri together with the soldiers, the rebels, (whom) they had taken they delivered to me.
[154] Those soldiers on stakes I fixed. 'Sa'situr of the country of Uzza my feet took. To the kingdom
[155] over them I placed (him). Silver, gold, lead, bronze, iron, (and) the horns of wild bulls to a countless number I received.
[156] An image of my Majesty of great size I made. In the city of Cinalua his royal city in the temple of his gods I set it up. In
[157] my 29th year (my) army (and) camp I urged, I sent. To the country of Cirkhi I ascended. Their cities I threw down,
[158] dug up, (and) burned with fire. Their country like a thunderstorm I swept. Exceeding
[159] fear over them I cast. In my 30th year when in the city of Calah I was stopping, Dayan-Assur
[160] the Tartan, the Commander of the wide-spreading army at the head of my army I urged, I sent. The river Zab
[161] he crossed. To the midst of the cities of the city of Khupusca he approached. The tribute of Datana
[162] of the city of the Khupuscians I received. From the midst of the cities of the Khupuscians
[163] I departed. To the midst of the cities of Maggubbi of the country of the Madakhirians he approached. The tribute
[164] I received. From the midst of the cities of the country of the Madakhirians he departed. To the midst of the cities of Udaci
[165] of the country of the Mannians he approached. Udaci of the country of the Mannians from before the sight of my mighty weapons
[166] fled, and the city of Zirta, his royal city, he abandoned. To save his life he ascended (the mountains).
[167] After him I pursued. His oxen, his sheep, his spoil, to a countless amount I brought back. His cities
[168] I threw down, dug up, (and) burned with fire. From the country of the Mannians he departed. To the cities of Sulu'sunu of the country of Kharru
[169] he approached. The city of Mairsuru, his royal city, together with the cities which depended on it he captured. (To) Sulu'sunu
[170] together with his sons mercy I granted. To his country I restored him. A payment (and) tribute of horses I imposed.
[171] My yoke upon him I placed. To the city of Surdira he approached. The tribute of Arta-irri
[172] of the city of the Surdirians I received. To the country of Par'sua I went down. The tribute of the Kings
[173] of the country of Par'sua I received. (As for) the rest of the country of Par'sua which did not reverence Assur, its cities
[174] I captured. Their spoil, their plunder to Assyria I brought. In my 31st year, the second time, the cyclical-feast
[175] of Assur and Rimmon I had inaugurated. At the time while I was stopping in the city of Calah, Dayan-Assur
[176] the Tartan, the Commander of my wide-spreading army, at the head of my army (and) my camp I urged, I sent.
[177] To the cities of Data of the country of Khupusca he approached. The tribute I received.
[178] To the city of Zapparia, a stronghold of the country of Muzatsira, I went. The city of Zapparia together with
[179] forty-six cities of the city of the Muzatsirians I captured. Up to the borders of the country of the Armenians
[180] I went. Fifty of their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. To the country of Guzani I went down. The tribute
[181] of Upu of the country of the Guzanians, of the country of the Mannians, of the country of the Buririans, of the country of the Kharranians,
[182] of the country of the Sasganians, of the country of the Andians, (and) of the country of the Kharkhanians, oxen, sheep, (and) horses
[183] trained to the yoke I received. To the cities of the country of . . . I went down. The city of Perria
[184] (and) the city of Sitivarya, its strongholds, together with 22 cities which depended upon it, I threw down, dug up
[185] (and) burned with fire. Exceeding fear over them I cast. To the cities of the Parthians he went.
[186] The cities of Bustu, Sala-khamanu (and) Cini-khamanu, fortified towns, together with 23 cities
[187] which depended upon them I captured. Their fighting-men I slew. Their spoil I carried off. To the country of Zimri I went down.
[188] Exceeding fear of Assur (and) Merodach overwhelmed them. Their cities they abandoned. To
[189] inaccessible mountains they ascended. Two hundred and fifty of their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire.
[190] Into the lowground of Sime'si at the head of the country of Khalman I went down.


The Epigraphs around the Sculptures

[1] The tribute of 'Su'a of the country of the Guzanians: silver, gold, lead, articles of bronze, sceptres for the King's hand, horses (and) camels with double backs: I received.
[2] The tribute of Yahua (Jehu) son of Khumri (Omri): silver, gold, bowls of gold, vessels of gold, goblets of gold, pitchers of gold, lead, sceptres for the King's hand, (and) staves: I received.
[3] The tribute of the country of Muzri: camels with double backs, an ox of the river 'Saceya, horses, wild asses, elephants, (and) apes: I received.
[4] The tribute of Merodach-pal-itstsar of the country of the 'Sukhians: silver, gold, pitchers of gold, tusks of the wild bull, staves, antimony, garments of many colors, (and) linen: I received.
[5] The tribute of Garparunda of the country of the Patinians: silver, gold, lead, bronze, gums, articles of bronze, tusks of wild bulls, (and) ebony: I received.

This text can be found in Austen Henry Layard's "Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Character" (1851).

 

The Black Obelisk

 


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