Work on the present volume began already in the mid-sixties, 1964 and 1966, when, in collaboration with K. Deller, I transliterated the majority of the 260 previously unedited texts and fragments included in it, and made a number of copies and joins to texts previously published in Harper's ABL. In the course of the following years, I identified several new pertinent fragments in the British Museum, made some further joins, and (in 1973) prepared copies of all previously uncopied texts for publication in CT 53. For a colloquium held at the the Orientalisches Seminar of the University of Heidelberg in June 1971, I translated, edited and analyzed 44 letters of the correspondence pertaining to the Medes or Media in general (chapters 3 and 4 of the present volume); within the framework of a reading course at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in spring 1978, I similarly analyzed with my students most of the letters from Babylonia presented here in chapters 6 and 7. The division of the material into individual dossiers by senders and their seats of office was basically established in spring 1980, when I was working on a paper for a symposium on Assyrian royal inscriptions (ARINH) held in June 1980 in Cetona, Italy.

The texts published in ABL were computerized in 1982-83 by my students Merja Immonen, Laura Kataja and Raija Mattila within the framework of a seminar on the Sargon letters. In spring 1984, I added the texts published in CT 53 and generated a KWIC concordance of the whole correspondence to serve as basis of the future editions in the SAA series. All the ABL texts edited in the present volume and many texts published in CT 53 were thoroughly collated by myself in July, 1992. The collations were entered into the SAA database in February 1994 by Laura Kataja, but other tasks (principally the necessity to finish the introduction to SAA 9) prevented further work on the volume until summer 1998, when I finally found an opportunity to translate the texts included in the volume.

In December 1999, realising that my multiple responsibilities within the SAA project would considerably delay the completion of the volume, were I to finish it alone, I decided to ask Dr. Andreas Fuchs of the University of Tübingen if he would be interested in becoming a co-author, with responsibility to provide a detailed introduction by summer 2000. The present volume is the fruit of our subsequent collaboration. Based on our division of labour, the introduction is entirely the work of Fuchs, while the other parts of the book are basically my work. Fuchs did, however, contribute many useful comments on the preliminary proofs of the text editions which were made available to him, and this feedback has been gratefully taken into consideration and incorporated into the manuscript. In particular, the order of the texts owes much to him, and many of the definitions in the Index of Names were supplied by him. Although there are points on which his understanding of the texts differs from mine, I am much indebted to him for his circumspect and efficient collaboration.

Over the years, several other colleagues and friends also contributed to the volume in a variety of ways. Dr. Irving L. Finkel of the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities of the British Museum collated several difficult passages in K 5621+ (no. 129), verified the joins, provided the excellent photos reproduced on Plates I-III, and made possible the inclusion of two previously unpublished Sargon fragments (K 20292 and K 22065). Prof. W. G. Lambert (Birmingham) contributed seven further fragments. Profs. K. Deller (Heidelberg) and J. N. Postgate (Cambridge) informed me of joins and collations they had made. Prof. G. B. Lanfranchi (Padua) read the proofs of chapters 6 and 7 and provided valuable comments and corrections. Dr. Julian Reade of the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities once again provided excellent illustrations. I wish to extend my thanks to all these colleagues for their invaluable collaboration.

Thanks are due to the Trustees of the British Museum for permission to publish previously unpublished texts and illustrative material in their custody, to the staff of the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities of the British Museum for continued collaboration received in the publication of the SAA series, and to Dr. Annie Caubet, director of the departement des Antiquites orientales of Louvre for permission to publish the photograph of AO 19887 used as the cover illustration.

Last but not least, I wish to record my gratitude to the Academy of Finland and the University of Helsinki for the financial support provided to the SAA project, without which the research behind this volume would not have been possible.

Helsinki, January 2001

Simo Parpola

Simo Parpola

Simo Parpola, 'Preface', The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part III: Letters from Babylonia and the Eastern Provinces, SAA 15. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 2001; online contents: SAAo/SAA15 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 []

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SAAo/SAA15, 2014-. Since 2015, SAAo is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [] license, 2007-20.
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