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I Placed My Name There: The Great Inscription of Tukulti-Ninurta I, King of Assyria

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Translation from the Akkadian

Yigal Bloch, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Royal name, titulary, genealogy, and legitimacy for rule and supremacy

1) Tukulti-Ninurta, king of the universe,
2) strong king, king of Assyria, chosen
3) of Ashur, vice-regent of Ashur, attentive shepherd,
4) favorite of the gods Anu and Enlil,
6) whose name
5) Ashur and the great gods
6) faithfully called,
7) to whom they gave the four quarters (of the world) to administer,
8) the attentive one, appointee of the gods,
9) the one who gladdens the heart of Ashur,
10) whose conduct
11) is pleasing
10) to the gods
11) of heaven (and) earth,
12) who is endowed with excellence,
13) the one who makes abundant the offerings for all the gods, 
14) all the time, the one who encircled
15) enemy lands above (and) below,
16) strong king, capable in battle,
18) the one who shepherds
17) the four quarters at the heels of (literally, after) the god Shamash,
18) am I;
19) son of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria,
20) son of Adad-Nirari (who was) also king of Assyria.

The king’s commission by the god

21) When Ashur, (my) lord,
22) faithfully chose me
21) to worship him,
23) gave me the scepter for my office of shepherd,
24) (presented) me in addition the staff for my office of herdsman,
27) granted me excel­lence
25) so that I might slay my enemies
26) (and) sub­due those who do not fear me,
28) (and) placed upon me the lordly crown;
29) (at that time) I set my foot upon the neck of the lands
31) (and) shepherded like a herd
30) the extensive black-headed people (namely, the local population).
32) He (Ashur) taught me just decisions.
33) Since
34) I feared
33) all the Anunnaku-gods
34) and cared (literally, knew) about the gods,
35) all my enemies
36) he (Ashur) subdued under my feet.

Summary of the first military campaign

37) When the troops of the Uqumanu,

2) all of <whose> countries,
1) since the days of old,
3) did not submit
1) <to> the previous kings,
2) my fathers,
5) were carrying off
4) the plunder of the four quarters (of the world) –
5) at that time,
6) with the strong might
7) of Ashur, my lord,
8) with trust in the great gods,
9) who open up my weapons
10) (and) go by my right side,
12) I marched in one direction after another,
11) through the narrow passages (and)
12) the difficult
11) rocky mountains.
13) In the four quarters (of the world)
14) I had
13) no rival.

Detailed account of the first military campaign against Uqumenu

14) At the begi<nning> of my sovereignty
15) I marched to the land Uqumenu.
16) The entire extensive land of Qutu
17) I overwhelmed (making it look) like a ruin hill (created by) the deluge.
19) I surrounded
18) their army (like) with a circle of sandstorms.
20) At that time,
22) they banded together(?) against my army
20) in a place
21) (that was) difficult, in a mountain defile.
24) They fiercely took up position
23) for a fight and a battle.
26) I put my trust
25) in Ashur and the great gods,
26) my lords, and
27) fought with them.
28) I brought about their defeat.
30) I filled
29) with their corpses the caves and the ravines
30) of the mountains.
33) I made heaps
32) of their corpses like (grain) piles
31) beside their gates.
34) Their cities I destroyed,
35) ravaged and turned into ruin hills.
36) (Thus) I became lord of the extensive land of Qutu.

1) With joy and excellence
2) I stood over them.
5) I captured
3) Abule, the king of the land Uqumenu,
4) and the hordes of his princes.
6) I carried off their captives (and) their property
7) (and) brought them to my city, Assur.
9) I made them swear
8) an oath by Ashur and the great gods
9) of heaven (and) earth.
11) I imposed upon their necks
10) the heavy yoke of my lordship
12) (and) sent them (back) to their lands.
13) The resistant ones among them
14) I subdued
13) at my feet
15) and imposed (upon them) corvée.
16) Annually
18) I received
16) their heavy tribute
17) with ceremony in my city, Assur.
19) The land of the distant Qutu,
20) the paths to which are very narrow and
22) (the terrain of) which is not suitable
21) for the movement of my army,
24) took fright
23) at the ferocity of my warfare
25) and submitted themselves at my feet.
27) I levied
26) tribute and impost
27) upon them forever.

Second military campaign against Shar­nida, Mehru, and Katmuhu

28) At that time
29) I marched
28) to the land Sharnida (and)
29) the land Mehru.
30) By means of the army of Qutu,
31) which Ashur and the great gods
32) had allotted to me,
34) I cut down
33) mighty beams of the land Mehru (and)
35) brought (them)
34) to my city, Assur.
37) I buttressed
35) my lordly palace,
36) which I love, with those beams from Mehru.

1) In that same year, four resistant cities
2) of the land Katmuhu,
3) its strong capitals,
4) which during a deceitful peace
5) dragged off my people (and)
6) plundered my land,
7) I conquered in the fullness of time.
8) Like an earthquake I shook their shrines.
9) I carried off their captives (and) their prop<erty> (and)
10) brought (them) to my city, Assur.

Third military campaign against Alzu, Mount Kashiyari, and the surroundings

11) All the land of the Shubaru,
12) the entirety of Kashiyari
13) as far as the land Alzu, which previously, during
14) the reign of Shalmaneser, king of the universe, my father,
15) had rebelled (and)
16) withheld
15) its tribute,
17) had united itself
16) under one command.
19) I raised my hands (in prayer)
18) to Ashur and the great gods,
19) my lords, (and)
20) marched up to Mount Kashiyari.
22) (As) with a bridle I controlled
20) the land of the Shubaru,
21) the land Alzu and their allied kings.
23) I conquered
22) the great cult center
23) of the land Purulumzu.
24) I burnt them (the inhabitants) alive (and)
25) the remnants of their army
26) I took as captives.
30) I burned down
27) four strong capitals
28) of Ehli-Teshub, king of the land Alzu, (and)
29) six resistant cities
30) of the land Amadanu.
31) Captives (and) property I carried off from them (and)
32) brought to my city, Assur.
33) Ehli-Teshub, king of the land Alzu,
35) took fright
34) in the face of my terrifying effulgence.
36) He took
35) his courtiers
36) and his sons,
37) abandoned his entire land, (and)

2) went secretly
1) to the border of Nairi, to an unknown land.
3) The remnant of his army,
4) which had fled in the midst of the battle,
6) fearing
5) the violence of my warfare,
8) ran
6) to the mountains standing out (at the horizon)
7) to save their lives.
8) 180 of their towns
9) I destroyed, ravaged, burnt, (and)
10) turned into ruin hills.
15) I added to my land
14) the regions of
11) the lands Alzu, Amadanu,
12) Nihanu, Alaya,
13) Tepurzu, and Purulumzu.
16) I took from them hostages, subd[ue]d (them) at my feet,
17) and imposed corvée (upon them).

Summary of the overall extent of the conquests

18) (From the region) between the cities of Shasilam
19) and Mashhaz-sharri
20) on the opposite bank of the Lower Zab,
21) from Mount Zuqushki
22) and Mount Lallar,
23) the district of the extensive land of Qutu,
24) the entire land of Lullumu (and) Paphu
25) to the land of Katmuhu, the whole land of Shubaru,
26) the entirety of Mt. Kashiyari,
27) to the border of Nairi and Makan,
28) the bank of the Euphrates – 
29) (in those) regions
30) and their borders,
31) which Ashur and the great gods
32) allotted to me,
34) I brought
33) all
34) my ene<mi>es
33) under one command.

Interlude: additional royal titles

35) The prince who accepts their gifts,
36) the shepherd who has charge over them,
37) the herdsman who properly administers them, am I.

The building enterprise

1) At that time, inside
2) my city, Assur, in the vicinity
3) of the ziggurat of Adad, my lord,
4) up to the Craftsman's (Tabira) Gate,
5) on the north side,
6) (at the location of) houses and dwellings,
7) extensive spaces, (and)
8) large plots of land,
10) I purified 
9) a sacred terrace of my city, Assur.
11) (The place?) at the side of the steles(?)
12) of the former kings,
13) including them (the steles),
14) I cleared away.
15) The graves of the ancient people (that were)
16) in the dwelling places of those houses,
17) I cleared away. In the area of 50 sar (mušāru, ca. 1800 m2)
18) straight down the (earthen) fill
19) of that building plot,
20) I reached bedrock.
21) The plots (of land) that (belonged) to my city, Assur,
22) I enlarged.
23) Its (sacred) terraces
24) I strengthened
23) with limestone and brick.
25) The narûs (inscribed monuments) of the former kings,
26) which lay beside the steles,
27) I placed at one location.
28) A large house, house of the king of (all) lands, the festive house
29) of all the gods, the dwelling-place of kingship,
30) the palace of my enjoyment I built (and)
31) erected
32) completely
31) from its foundations
32) to its crenellations,
33) and I placed (there) my narûs.


34) In the future, may a later prince,
35) <when> that palace becomes old and
36) dilapidated, restore it.
37) May he anoint with oil my narûs,

1) make sacrifices,
2) (and) return (them) to their place.
3) (Then) the gods Ashur and Adad will listen to his prayers.


4) He who erases (my) inscription (literally, inscribed name) and
5) inscribes his (own) inscription (literally, name),
6) (who) removes my narûs,
9) brings (them)
7) to anoth­er place,
8) where there is no visibility,
9) and puts (them there),
11) or conceives of and does
10) anything inju­rious;
15) or (who) prevents
12) the gods dwelling
13) in the city Assur
15) from entering
14) my palace
13) during the festivals (and)
17) summons (them)
16) to another palace;
19) (who) abandons and neglects
18) that palace of mine;
20) (who), because of these curses,
21) tears down and
22) destroys
21) that palace (and)
23) on the sa­cred place of my palace
24) constructs a(nother) palace like it;
25) (who) heaps up my narûs in a single place
26) without returning (them) to their (proper) location;
27) who maliciously
28) instructs anyone
29) or (otherwise)
30) seeks evil
29) for that palace –


30) may Ashur, Adad, (and) the gods of heaven (and) earth
31) rip out the foundations of his (throne),
32) annihilate his kingship,
33) wipe out his name (and) his offspring from the land,
35) command with their weighty words
34) the dispersal of his people (and) the destruction of his land,
38) (and) cast
37) upon his kingship and his family
36) an evil wind of anarchy (and) rebellion.

2) May they inflict on his reign
1) hunger, famine and deprivation.
3) May a hostile king
4) seize his throne (and)
5) rule his country before his very eyes.
6) May his name be non-existent.
7) May his progeny not come (into the world).
8) May he not leave
9) a lasting name
8) to (his) people.
9) May the lady of the battle
10) fray, who called
11) my reign (into being), turn him
12) from a man into a woman.
13) May she make his manhood be poured out.
14) In a battle, may she break his weapons.
16) May she inflict on him
15) confusion and turmoil.
18) May he not be able to stand
17) before his enemy.
19) May she kill
18) his confidant.
20) May she hand over(?)
19) his warriors (to the enemy).
21) May she deliver him
20) into the hands of his enemy.
22-24) (blank)




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