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Post Canonical Eponyms

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  • mattahorn@y7mail.com
    I am presently researching the regnal data of the Hebrew kings for the divided monarchy era. In particular, I am looking at the alignment of the biblical data
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 22, 2009
      I am presently researching the regnal data of the Hebrew kings for the
      divided monarchy era. In particular, I am looking at the alignment of
      the biblical data in the books of Kings and Chronicles with Assyrian
      chronographs, especially the Eponym Canon.

      I have read Alan Millard's The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire
      910–612 BC (SAAS 2), which includes Robert Whiting's very
      informative contribution on post-canonical and extra-canonical eponyms.
      I have two questions concerning those eponym types:

      1) Can the date for the extra-canonical eponymate of Paqaha (p. 112 of
      SAAS 2) be narrowed any further than the eighth century (say to within a
      few decades within the eighth century)?

      2) Is there any possibility, however remote, that one or more PC eponyms
      might actually be extra-canonical, or does the archival context require
      that every one of them be dated after 649? Unfortunately, I am not
      familiar with the cited texts which name the eponym, so I have no idea
      if some PC eponyms could conceivably be dated to before 649, such as the
      following:

      * Ilu-sumu-usur (p. 96) * Marduk-remanni (p. 100 – might he
      be the same person as the chief butler of 779?) *
      Nabu-da''inanni (p. 104 – might he be the same person as the
      commander of 742?) * Nur-salam-kaspi (p. 112) *
      Sin-sarrussu-ka''in (p. 116) * Sin-sumu-ibni (p. 116)

      Any help on these questions would be greatly appreciated.

      Bruno Kolberg

      (Student of ANE history as it relates to the Bible)



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • frankclancy
      I too am working on the chronological information and lings lists for Judah and Israel. I tried working with the Assyrian texts etc. but gave it up as I came
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 23, 2009
        I too am working on the chronological information and lings lists for Judah and Israel. I tried working with the Assyrian texts etc. but gave it up as I came to realize the creater of Kings had certain sources and not others. For example, the story of the end of Israel- according to the Biblical text, Shalmaneser finished off Samaria but there is evidence that it was Sargon who did the dirty deed. It seems to be a question of sources. The writer evidently had the chronicles as a source but not other texts. You have the same problem with Ahab - why isn't his participation in the 14 kingdom alliance mentioned? I suggest, the problem is the source he used - he did not have that information. The same with the tribute paid by Joash of Israel.

        So if you are dealing with the chronology and kings lists in the book of Kings, I suggest you try and determine what source he used. Clearly, he was not using historical sources from the kingdoms of Judah and Israel - despite what so many scholars claim. It seems clear that he did have a source but it was limited in information. I am convinced the Eponym list was not part of his source.

        By the way, I believe the kings lists and the chronology in Kings has no historical merit at all. So what I look for are ideological patterns. Yes, I do know there are names and events in Kings which are historically accurate but I argue these were used as historical anchors and many kings and the chronology was added to fill out a so-called history of Judah and Israel - just to let you know. I argue that the writer was writing after the time of Berossus and used him as a source.

        Also, you have to be careful about Kings and determine what texts were original and what was redacted. For example, the story of Hezekiah and Sennacherib had a source - probably the Assyrian text - but the "14th year" and the pharaoh Tirhakah were added later - post-Chronicles which does not report them. And so on. Use Chronicles as a tool to help you determine what kings version he was using. He is our earliest check on the text of Kings. He does not report the 14th year Hezekiah, the Pharaoh Tirhakah, the set of synchronisms between Hezekiah and the end of the kingdom of Israel and on and on.

        Frank Clancy
      • mattahorn@y7mail.com
        Frank, Thanks for the reply (#10574). Actually, I am very focused on the post-canonical eponyms themselves. I am presently reading M. Christine Tetley s, The
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 25, 2009
          Frank,

          Thanks for the reply (#10574). Actually, I am very focused on the
          post-canonical eponyms themselves. I am presently reading M. Christine
          Tetley's, "The Reconstructed Chronology of the Divided
          Kingdom" (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005). She posits that there may
          be gaps in the Eponym Canon for the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V and
          Adad-nirari III (pp. 97–104, 165–76), and that some
          post-canonical eponyms might fit there. She also contests Robert
          Whiting's assertion that all the Neo-Assyrian eponyms down to 649
          are known, and wonders if some of the excess eponyms might belong to her
          proposed gaps (p. 176). I know that the Eponym Canon is viewed as being
          settled between 910 and 649, but I would nevertheless appreciate an
          unbiased opinion on whether some post-canonical eponyms might actually
          belong to the eighth or ninth centuries, however remote the possibility.
          I do not necessarily agree with Tetley's proposal.

          Bruno Kolberg

          Brisbane, Australia.





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rolf Furuli
          Dear Bruno, I am afraid that you will never get an unbiased opinion regarding anything in connection with ancient chronology - we are all biased one way or
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 26, 2009
            Dear Bruno,

            I am afraid that you will never get "an unbiased"
            opinion regarding anything in connection with
            ancient chronology - we are all biased one way or
            another. I find it refreshing that someone
            challenges traditional viewpoints; this is the
            way science should work. But too often science
            does not work this way, because there is a
            widespread belief in authority, and traditional
            opinions are repeated over and over again.

            It is quite obvious that when we have about 50
            superfluous eponyms of which we have no
            references, some, or many of these *can* be from
            the "canonical" period. We cannot be certain that
            the eponym list as it is accepted today is a
            complete list without holes. Between 910/911 and
            884 I have noted 21 different eponyms in the same
            years according to the readings of Ungnad and
            Millard, and I have noted 8 different names of
            eponyms in different eponym fragments between 864
            and 718. Moreover. At least 22 examples of double
            dating exist (both the eponym and the regnal year
            of a king are mentioned). These double dates do
            not always fit, and to try to make them fit
            better, it is postulated that contrary to the
            custom in Babylon, where the accession year was
            the last months of the year of death of the
            previous king, in Assyria the accession year
            could be the first regnal year or even later
            years of a king. This seems to be an ad hoc
            explanation, in order smooth out chronological
            differences- I have never seen real evidence for
            this.

            While there are letters from Assyrian scholars
            written to the Assyrian kings with celestial
            observations, and 100 or more of these can be
            dated because of the positions, none of these
            tablets contain a particular regnal year of an
            Assyrian king. So they cannot be used for
            absolute dating. To the best of my knowledge,
            there is only one astronomical event that can be
            used for absolute dating, and that is the solar
            eclipse that is reported in the eponymy of
            Bur-Sagale. It is universally accepted that this
            is the solar eclipse that occurred in 763 BCE.
            But this is nothing but a guess, because there
            are several other solar eclipses that are
            candidates as well.

            Several Neo-Assyrian kings were also kings of
            Babylon. If we take dated Babylonian documents at
            face value, five of the Babylonian kings of this
            time reigned longer than the chronicles and king
            lists say. If this is correct, it could cause
            havoc in the lists of regnal years of Assyrian
            kings.

            There are still many unanswered questions
            regarding the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian
            chronologies, and it is wise to look at any
            chronological scheme as just tentative, without
            putting an absolute faith in it.


            Best regards,

            Rolf Furuli Ph.D

            University of Oslo





            >Frank,
            >
            >Thanks for the reply (#10574). Actually, I am very focused on the
            >post-canonical eponyms themselves. I am presently reading M. Christine
            >Tetley's, "The Reconstructed Chronology of the Divided
            >Kingdom" (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005). She posits that there may
            >be gaps in the Eponym Canon for the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V and
            >Adad-nirari III (pp. 97–104, 165–76), and that some
            >post-canonical eponyms might fit there. She also contests Robert
            >Whiting's assertion that all the Neo-Assyrian eponyms down to 649
            >are known, and wonders if some of the excess eponyms might belong to her
            >proposed gaps (p. 176). I know that the Eponym Canon is viewed as being
            >settled between 910 and 649, but I would nevertheless appreciate an
            >unbiased opinion on whether some post-canonical eponyms might actually
            >belong to the eighth or ninth centuries, however remote the possibility.
            >I do not necessarily agree with Tetley's proposal.
            >
            >Bruno Kolberg
            >
            >Brisbane, Australia.
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Rolf Furuli
            Dear list-members, The Old Persian version of the Harem inscription of Xerxes (XPf) is found in http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/XPf.html. There is
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 27, 2009
              Dear list-members,

              The Old Persian version of the Harem inscription of Xerxes (XPf) is
              found in http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/XPf.html. There is
              also a Babylonian version of this inscription. Does anyone know
              whether a transcription and translation of this version exists,
              either on the Internet or on paper, or whether someone has compared
              the texts of the two versions?


              Best regards,

              Rolf Furuli Ph.D
              University of Oslo
            • torythrp@yahoo.com
              ... On the post-canonical eponyms, in addition to the discussion by R. Whiting in SAAS 2: 72-78, you might also have a look at J. E. Reade, Assyrian eponyms,
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 28, 2009
                --- On Sat, 4/25/09, mattahorn@... <mattahorn@...> wrote:

                > Frank,
                >
                > Thanks for the reply (#10574). Actually, I am very focused on the
                > post-canonical eponyms themselves. I am presently reading M. Christine
                > Tetley's, "The Reconstructed Chronology of the Divided
                > Kingdom" (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005). She posits that there may
                > be gaps in the Eponym Canon for the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V and
                > Adad-nirari III (pp. 97–104, 165–76), and that some
                > post-canonical eponyms might fit there. She also contests Robert
                > Whiting's assertion that all the Neo-Assyrian eponyms down to 649
                > are known, and wonders if some of the excess eponyms might belong to her
                > proposed gaps (p. 176).

                On the post-canonical eponyms, in addition to the discussion by R. Whiting in SAAS 2: 72-78, you might also have a look at J. E. Reade, "Assyrian eponyms, kings and pretenders, 648-605 BC", Orientalia NS 67/2 (1998) 255-265. 

                It seema obvious to Tetley and others that some or many of the ≈50 eponyms characterized as "post-canonical" can belong to the canonical period, but since the eponym canon ends in 649 and Nineveh fell in 612, only ≈13 post-canonical eponyms are actually "excess" or "superfluous," assuming the number of collected post-canonical eponyms is still at ≈50 (SAAS 2: 72). The number ≈13 may be reduced if the terminus ad quem for the Assyrian eponym system is not the disasters of 614-612. For example, eponyms attested only in western Syrian sites can even be post-empire (i.e. post-612) and may fill out the years 612 down to at least 608 when Assur-uballit II vanished, and possibly down to 605.

                More to your question, ≈13 excess eponyms is not nearly enough to fill out the gaps Tetley proposes for the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V (22 missing years) and Adad-nirari III (21 missing years). Just looking at the catalogue of eponym-dated texts in SAAS 2: 79-125, it is clear that moving from the 7th century backwards in time is like stepping into a vaccum in terms of the number and frequency of attestations. Dated material wasn't well preserved and most of the eponyms attested in the 9th-8th century portion of the eponym canon are not attested outside of the canon.

                So if there is a gap in the 9th century portion of the eponym canon maybe only very few of the "excess" eponyms do belong there, but filling up the theoretical gap with eponym-dated texts found at 7th-8th century levels is not credible absent of a clear if not remarkable archival context. 

                > I know that the Eponym Canon is viewed as being
                > settled between 910 and 649, but I would nevertheless appreciate an
                > unbiased opinion on whether some post-canonical eponyms might actually
                > belong to the eighth or ninth centuries, however remote the possibility.
                > I do not necessarily agree with Tetley's proposal.
                >
                > Bruno Kolberg
                >
                > Brisbane, Australia.

                Regarding the gap-theory of pioneer Assyriologist J. Oppert, I find it difficult to accept Tetley's modified view which is attempting to add decades to the reigns of Shamshi-Adad V and Adad-nirari III. More plausible in my opinion is the omission of a reign in between these two kings such that a lacuna exists in the eponym canon between two attested eponym blocks without contradicting the number of years assigned to these kings in the Assyrian King List (the regnal figures in the king list seem to have been derived by scribes using eponym lists and counting the number of eponyms within a king's eponym period).

                The missing eponym block/reign can only have been that of Sammuramat, the famed Semiramis, wife of Shamshi-Adad V and mother (and pater familias) of Adad-nirari III. Although presumably documented in contemporary lists used in the daily administration, this block may not have found its way into the official edited version of the canon, censored because not autonomous but nevertheless de facto female rule was unprecedented in Mesopotamia and was not something that would be acknowledged after the fact in documentary traditions such as the eponym canon or the Assyrian King List. Grayson seems to be hinting at this suggestion in SAAB 7 (1993) 29.

                Tory Thorpe

                Israel
              • Yitzhak Sapir
                ... On that very link, at the very bottom, on the left, there is a photo of the Babylonian version: http://www.livius.org/a/1/inscriptions/XPf1_bab.JPG Yitzhak
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 28, 2009
                  On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Rolf Furuli wrote:
                  > Dear list-members,
                  >
                  > The Old Persian version of the Harem inscription of Xerxes (XPf)  is
                  > found in http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/XPf.html. There is
                  > also a Babylonian version of this inscription. Does anyone know
                  > whether a transcription and translation of this version exists,
                  > either on the Internet or on paper, or whether someone has compared
                  > the texts of the two versions?

                  On that very link, at the very bottom, on the left, there is a photo of the
                  Babylonian version:
                  http://www.livius.org/a/1/inscriptions/XPf1_bab.JPG

                  Yitzhak Sapir
                • victor avigdor hurowitz
                  I dont have it in front of me in the moment, but there s a VAB volume of Achaemenid inscriptions (VAB 3 Weissbach) which might be the place to look. Victor
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 28, 2009
                    I dont' have it in front of me in the moment, but there's a VAB volume of
                    Achaemenid inscriptions (VAB 3 Weissbach) which might be the place to
                    look.
                    Victor Hurowitz
                    BGU



                    On Tue, 28 Apr 2009, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:

                    > On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Rolf Furuli wrote:
                    > > Dear list-members,
                    > >
                    > > The Old Persian version of the Harem inscription of Xerxes (XPf)  is
                    > > found in http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/XPf.html. There is
                    > > also a Babylonian version of this inscription. Does anyone know
                    > > whether a transcription and translation of this version exists,
                    > > either on the Internet or on paper, or whether someone has compared
                    > > the texts of the two versions?
                    >
                    > On that very link, at the very bottom, on the left, there is a photo of the
                    > Babylonian version:
                    > http://www.livius.org/a/1/inscriptions/XPf1_bab.JPG
                    >
                    > Yitzhak Sapir
                    >
                  • mattahorn@y7mail.com
                    Thanks Rolf Furuli (#10588) and Tory Thorpe (#10601) for your replies to my questions on post-canonical eponyms. The information from both these posts has been
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 2, 2009
                      Thanks Rolf Furuli (#10588) and Tory Thorpe (#10601) for your replies to
                      my questions on post-canonical eponyms. The information from both these
                      posts has been valuable, and I now have a better focus on the topic. I
                      will be researching a number of points that you both made.

                      Regards,
                      Bruno Kolberg
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