Aššur-bēl-kala

Ashurbelkala_banner

BM 118898 "Broken Obelisk," see text no. 7

Aššur-bēl-kala (1073-1056 BC) is the eighty-ninth ruler of Ashur, according to the Assyrian King List [/riao/kinglists/assyriankinglist/assyriankinglist/index.html#MiddleAss], where his reign is reported to have lasted eighteen years, between the one of Ašarēd-apil-Ekur [/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/asharedapilekur/index.html] (1075-1074 BC) and that of Erība-Adad II [/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/eribaadadii/index.html] (1055-1054 BC). One of the sons of Tiglath-pileser I [/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/tiglathpileseri/index.html] (1114-1076 BC), this ruler was able to revive briefly the role of Assyria after the setback suffered by the kingdom around the end of his father's reign.
In his royal inscriptions, most of the preserved ones being annalistic texts, record the ruler leading military expeditions in Babylonia, which became for this period a vassal state of Assyira, and as far west as Lebanon. Always according to his inscriptions, after his Levantine campaign, Aššur-bēl-kala received, as acknowledgment of his importance on the Near Eastern political scenario of the time, exotic animals and gifts from Egypt.
Aššur-bēl-kala's inscriptions date early in the reign (the fifth or sixth year or possibly a little later), and it is probable that soon after the first campaigns the power of Assyria gradually declined again, probably under the pressure of the Arameans, with whom Assyrians are recorded to have had many clashes (tet no. 7 [/riao/Q005988.44/], The Broken Obelisk, column iii); such decline was then bound to last for the subsequent reigns until the beginning of the Neo-Assyrian period in the late tenth century BC (Aššur-dān II [/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/ashurdanii/index.html]).
Most of Aššur-bēl-kala's texts come from Ashur, where his building projects took place. Unfortunately, most of the building sections of his inscriptions are now badly damaged or completely missing, with the exception of text no. 7 and partly text no. 3, where the works on several structures in the city are recorded.

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Bibliography

Baker, H. D. (1998). Aššur-bēl-kala. In H. D. Baker (Ed.), The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (Volume 1), p. 171, Helsinki
Grayson, A. K., Königslisten und Chroniken. B. Akkadisch. In D. O. Edzard (Ed.), Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie (Band 6), pp. 86–135, Berlin, 1986
Grayson, A. K., Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC I (1114-859 BC), RIMA 2, University of Toronto, 1991, p. 86.

Nathan Morello

Nathan Morello, 'Aššur-bēl-kala', The Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online (RIAo) Project, The RIAo Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/ashurbelkala/]

 
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