Aššur-uballiṭ I

Aššur-uballiṭ I (1363-1328 BC) is the seventy-third ruler of Ashur, according to the Assyrian King List [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/kinglists/assyriankinglist/assyriankinglist/index.html], and is generally recognized as the founder of the Middle Assyrian territorial state (Cancik-Kirschbaum 2003, Postgate 2011, Lion 2011), although this assumption should be re-evaluated against more recent archaeological discoveries that point at an earlier stage, during the second-millennium process after which the Middle Assyrian kingdom emerged (see, introduction [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/mittanianhegemony/index.html] to the period of Mittanian hegemony and the introduction [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/puzurashuriii/index.html] to Puzur-Aššur III). Similarly, the creation of the first group of Assyrian provinces, traditionally attributed to this ruler is plausible, but not sustained by any actual evidence (Llop 2011).
It remains certain Aššur-uballiṭ's contribution to the end of Mittani in the Near Eastern political landscape, as he is known for having supported Šuttarna III, Šattiwaza's rival to the throne. He is also known for having written two letters to the Egyptian pharaoh (El Amrana letters EA 15-16), in the second of which he calls himself a "brother" of his, in this way claiming the new, raising position of Ashur among the other great powers of the time, Kassite Babylonia, the Hittites, and Egypt. Aššur-uballiṭ possibly conquered all or part of Arrapha (Maidman 2011). He was son of Erība-Adad [http://oracc.iaas.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/mittanianhegemony/eribaadadi/index.html] I (1380-1354 BC) and father of Enlil-nārārī [http://oracc.iaas.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria13631115bc/enlilnarari/index.html] (1317-1308 BC), and from the reading of the Synchronic History (I 8'-12'; see also Chronicle P I 5-14) we know that he married his daughter Muballiṭat-Šerua to the Babylonian king. Afterwards, when his grandson was deposed and killed during a rebellion, he intervened in Babylon and installed Kurigalzu II (1332-1308 BC) as new king.

Overveiw of the inscriptions
There are seven royal inscriptions from the reign of Aššur-uballiṭ – all excavated in Ashur and all recording building enterprises – and two inscriptions of uncertain attribution (1001-2). No. 1001 comes from Nineveh and although extremely fragmentary, is believed to be recording the restoration of the temple of Ištar in Nineveh. This assumption is based on the existence of four inscriptions of later Assyrian rulers, all celebrating Aššur-uballiṭ's work on the temple. The inscriptions are those of later rulers Shalmaneser [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria13631115bc/shalmaneseri/index.html] I (5 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005793/]: 26, 31; 17 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005805/]: 7, 9-10) Tiglath-pileser [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria1114884bc/tiglathpileseri/index.html] I (12 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005937/]: 26') and Ashurnasirpal [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/theassyrianempire883745bc/ashurnasirpalii/index.html] II (56 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q004510/]: 14)
Aššur-uballiṭ's incriptions are the first in which the phrase "Land of Aššur" (māt Aššur) appears, and an interest on the preservation of the royal continuous line is visible in his inscriptions no. 1 and no. 7, where long genealogies are recorded up to the reign of Puzur-Aššur III.


Selected Bibliography

AA.VV., 'Aššur-uballiṭ [ http://cdli.ox.ac.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=assur-uballit_i],' in: CDLI:wiki - Rulers of Assyria, Rulers of Mesopotamia/Biographies (2015)
Cancik-Kirschbaum, E., Die Assyrer: Geschichte, Gesellschaft, Kultur, München, 2008, pp.72-78.
Lion, B., 'Assur unter Mittaniherrschaft,' in: J. Renger (ed.), Assur- Gott, Stadt und Lnd (CDOG 5), Wiesbaden, 2011, pp.149-168.
Llop, J. 'The Creation of the Middle Assyrian Provinces,' Altorientalische Forschungen 39 (2011) pp. 5091-603.
Maidman, M.P., 'Nuzi, the club of the great powers, and the chronology of the fourtheenth century,' Kaskal 8 (2011) pp. 77-139.
Postgate, J.N., 'Die Stadt Assur und das Land Assur,' in: J. Renger (ed.), Assur- Gott, Stadt und Lnd (CDOG 5), Wiesbaden, 2011, pp.87-94.

Browse the RIAo Corpus [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/pager/]


1   2   3   4   5   6   7   1001   1002  

1

Ass 13963

VA 05707 (Ass 13963). Schroeder, KAH 2 no. 27

A later Neo-Assyrian copy of an inscription of Aššur-uballiṭ I is inscribed on a clay amulet-shaped tablet discovered at Aššur. The text, which is now in Berlin (Vorderasiatisches Museum), records this ruler's work on a structure in the New City, probably the walls (not the palace, as previously thought, see introduction [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/belubanidynasty/puzurashuriii/index.html] to Puzur-Aššur III). Because there are several orthographic and grammatical peculiarities, it has been suggested that the text was an ancient forgery or a badly executed later copy. This text is the earliest known Assyrian royal inscription with a date: it was written in the eponymy of Enlil-mudammiq.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005719/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 1.

Source: VA 05707 (Ass 13963)

Bibliography

1922 Schroeder, KAH 2 no. 27 (copy)
1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 3 (edition)
1926 Luckenbill, ARAB 1 §§58-59 (translation)
1930 Schott, OLZ 33 885 (study)
1950 Landsberger and Balkan, Belleten 14 p. 253 (study)
1952 von Soden, Orientalia NS 21 pp. 360-61 (study)
1961 Borger, EAK 1 p. 26 (study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 3 (translation)


2

BM 103388

BM 103388. King, CT 32 no. VII

Two clay cones appear to preserve part of one and the same text. The damaged inscription records work on the terrace of the New Palace. These two objects of Aššur-uballiṭ I were discovered at Aššur and are presently housed in the Eski Șark Eserleri Müzesi of the Arkeoloji Müzeleri (Istanbul) and the British Museum (London).

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005720/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 2.

Sources: (1) Ist A 03649 (Ass 04064)     (2) BM 103388 (1911-04-8, 0078)

Bibliography

1905 Andrae, MDOG 26 pp. 54-55 (ex. 1, provenance)
1912 King, CT 32 p. 9 no. VII and pl. 9 (ex. 2, copy)
1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 5 (ex. 1, edition)
1961 Borger, EAK 1 pp. 26 and 28-29 (exs. 1-2, study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 5 (exs. 1-2, translation)
1984 Donbaz and Grayson, RICCA no. 21 (ex. 1, copy)


3

Ass 02104

VA 05814 (Ass 02104). Messerschmidt, KAH 1 no. 64

A stone in the shape of a flint found at Aššur is inscribed with a text of stating that a well by the name of Uballiṭ-nišēšu ("It has Given Life to His People") was filled in at Aššur-uballiṭ I's request; an Aššur-nādin-aḫḫē, possibly the second ruler of that name, is named as a previous builder. The inscription also records that the king worked on the Patti-ṭuḫdi canal. ("Canal of Abundance"). The object is now in the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Berlin).

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005721/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 3.

Source: VA 05814 (Ass 02104)

Bibliography

1904 Andrae, MDOG 25 pp. 40-41 (provenance)
1911 Messerschmidt, KAH 1 no. 64 (copy)
1911-12 Luckenbill, AJSL 28 pp. 172-75 (edition)
1915 Bezold, HKA p. 57 (edition)
1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 1 (edition)
1926 Luckenbill, ARAB 1 §61 (translation)
1930 Schott, OLZ 33 884 (study)
1961 Borger, EAK 1 pp. 29-30 (study)
1962 Meyer, Jahrtausende p. 185 (translation)
1965 CAD 2 (B) pp. 335-36 (study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 1 (translation)


4

VAT 09554

VAT 09554 (Ass 20456). Schroeder, KAH 2 no. 28

A fragmentarily preserved clay tablet discovered in the Ištar temple at Aššur bears an inscription of Aššur-uballiṭ I recording renovations to the Ištar-kudnittu (reading uncertain) shrine in that city. The tablet is housed in the Vorderasiatisches Museum (Berlin).

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005722/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 4.

Source: VAT 09554 (Ass 20456)

Bibliography

1922 Schroeder, KAH 2 no. 28 (copy)
1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 4 (edition)
1926 Luckenbill, ARAB 1 §60 (translation)
1935 Andrae, JIT pl. 17a (photo)
1950 Landsberger and Balkan, Belleten 14 p. 253 (study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 4 (translation)


5

A small fragment of a clay cone from Aššur preserves a few lines of an inscription of Aššur-uballiṭ I. It appears to commemorate work on a courtyard of a temple. The piece is now in the Eski Șark Eserleri Müzesi of the Arkeoloji Müzeleri (Istanbul).

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005723/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 5.

Source: Ist A 03578 (Ass 15596)

Bibliography

1984 Donbaz and Grayson, RICCA no. 20 (copy, edition)


6

VAT 08995

VAT 08995 (Ass 14446cy). Schroeder, KAV no. 210

The text of Aššur-uballiṭ I's royal seal is known from impressions on three clay tablets, all of which come from Aššur and are presently in Berlin (Vorderasiatisches Museum).

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005724/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 6.

Sources: (1) VAT 08995 (Ass 14446cy)     (2) VAT 08945 (Ass 14446bn)     (3) VAT 08790 (Ass 14446ad)    

Bibliography

1920 Schroeder, KAV no. 210 (ex. 1, copy)
1920 Weber, AO 17 p. 95;18 p. 71 no. 354a (ex. 1, copy)
1922 Schroeder, ZA 34 p. 163 (ex. 3, edition)
1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 6 (exs. 1, 3, edition)
1927 Ebeling, KAJ no. 173 (ex. 1, copy)
1957 Beran, ZA 52 pp. 151-52 (exs. 1-3, study; ex. 1, copy)
1967 Nissen, Falkenstein Festschrift p. 111 (exs. 1, 3, study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 6 (exs. 1-3, translation)


7

A proprietary label of Aššur-uballiṭ I is inscribed on the rims of two clay jars excavated at Aššur. The present whereabouts of both pieces are not known.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005725/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 7.

Sources: (1) Ass 16841     (2) Ass 08209

Bibliography

1926 Ebeling, IAK XVII 7 (exs. 1-2, edition)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 7 (exs. 1-2, translation)


1001

Several four-sided basalt objects discovered at Nineveh and now in the British Museum (London) may be inscribed with one and the same inscription recording construction on the Ištar temple in that city; Samsī-Addu I [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/fromsamsiaddutomittanicilent18081364bc/index.html] is mentioned as a previous builder. The attribution to Aššur-uballiṭ I is based on script and on the fact that Shalmaneser I [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria13631115bc/shalmaneseri/index.html] states that he had work on the Ištar temple at Nineveh; see Shalmaneser I 01 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005789/].

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005726/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 1001.

Sources: (1) BM 121147 (1929-10-12, 0156)      (2) BM 121148 (1929-10-12, 0157)     (3) 1932-12-10, 0019

Bibliography

1929 Thompson, Arch. 79 p. 121 and pl. XLIII nos. 45-46 (exs. 1-2, copy, edition)
1931-32 Weidner, AfO 7 p. 280 (study)
1961 Borger, EAK 1 p. 26 (study)
1972 Grayson, ARI 1 LXXIII 8 (translation)


1002

Part of an inscription of an Assyrian king, likely Aššur-uballiṭ I, is preserved on a clay cone fragment from Aššur. The extant text appears to describe Aššur-uballiṭ's work on the New Palace; the text is similar to Aššur-uballiṭ I 2. The piece is currently in Berlin (Vorderasiatisches Museum). Aššur-nādin-aḫḫē, possibly the second ruler of that name, is mentioned as a previous builder of the palace.

Access the composite text [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/Q005727/] of Aššur-uballiṭ I 1002.

Source: VA Ass 02094 (Ass 22583)

Bibliography

1982 Rost, FuB 22 no. 13 (copy)

Nathan Morello

Nathan Morello, 'Aššur-uballiṭ I', The Royal Inscriptions of Assyria online (RIAo) Project, The RIAo Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2019 [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/thekingdomofassyria13631115bc/ashuruballiti/]

 
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