Saturday, February 28, 2015

Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire

[Most recently updated 28 February 2015] 

Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
In the seventh century BC the Assyrian monarch was the most powerful human being in the whole Middle East. Hundreds of letters, queries and reports survive from Neo-Assyrian capital of Nineveh PGP  in northern Iraq. They show scholars advising the Assyrian royal family on matters ominous, astrological and medical, often with direct impact on political affairs. Along with court poetry and royal prophecies, they give an extraordinary vivid insight into the actual practice of scholarship in the context of the first well-documented courtly patronage of scientific activity in world history.

Letters, queries, and reports

These letters, queries, reports, and other materials were first published in the State Archives of Assyria series. They are reproduced here with the kind permission of the authors and the The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project (NATCP). Copyright remains with the authors and the NATCP. They may not be reproduced for non-educational purposes, beyond fair use, without the permission of the authors and the NATCP.
Browse or search the letters, queries, and reports, etc.
Abbreviations Original Publication
SAA 3 (poetry) A. Livingstone, Assyrian court poetry and literary miscellanea (State Archives of Assyria 3), Helsinki 1989
SAA 4 (queries) I. Starr, Queries to the Sungod: divination and politics in Sargonid Assyria (State Archives of Assyria 4), Helsinki 1990
SAA 8 (reports) H. Hunger, Astrological reports to Assyrian kings (State Archives of Assyria 8), Helsinki 1992, with the author's corrections and additions incorporated into this online publication
SAA 9 (prophecies) S. Parpola, Assyrian prophecies (State Archives of Assyria 9), Helsinki 1997
SAA 10 (scholarly letters) S. Parpola, Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian scholars (State Archives of Assyria 10), Helsinki 1993
SAA 13 (priestly letters) S. Cole and P. Machinist, Letters from priests to kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal (State Archives of Assyria 13), Helsinki 1999
SAA 16 (political letters) M. Luukko and G. Van Buylaere, The political correspondence of Esarhaddon (State Archives of Assyria 16), Helsinki 2002
SAA 18 (Babylonian letters) F. Reynolds, The Babylonian correspondence of Esarhaddon (State Archives of Assyria 18), Helsinki 2003

Knowledge and Power is a component of The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (ORACC)

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