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Re: Mari Letters

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  • Francesco Brighenti
    Dear Patricia, Thanks for your very useful quote. ... So we are merely dealing here with mentions of the Sumero-Akkadian toponym Meluhha in texts from the
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 9, 2010
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      Dear Patricia,

      Thanks for your very useful quote.

      You write:

      > Having read the Warburton article [D.A. Warburton, "What Happened
      > in the Near East ca. 2000 BC?", in E.H. Seland, ed., _The Indian
      > Ocean in the Ancient Period: Definite Places, Translocal Exchange_,
      > Oxford, BAR International Series, Vol. 1593, 2007, pp. 9-22 -- FB],
      > the sentence you quote is the only mention of a connection between
      > the Indus and the Mari letters. The reference, 52, is to Durand
      > 1983: 516, referring to:
      >
      > Durand, J.-M. 1983. *Textes administratifs des salles 134 et 160 du
      > Palais de Mari. *Paris: Archives Royales de Mari 21.
      >
      > I then looked this up, and the relevant passage is:
      >
      > " [...] [L]es ethniques qui qualifient les biens attestes a Mari
      > montrent que son horizon est singulierement ouvert, puisque pour ne
      > citer que les terres les plus lointaines on constate la presence de
      > Magan, Meluhha, Dlimun et la Crete"
      >
      > I couldn't find any more detail than that. Hopefully this helps your
      > research!

      So we are merely dealing here with mentions of the Sumero-Akkadian toponym 'Meluhha' in texts from the Royal Archives of Mari? No mention in Durand's paper of any trade items associated with this 'Meluhha'? (I read, for instance, of a mention of 'wood of Meluhha' in Durand's article here: <http://tinyurl.com/36wn5f6>; is this fragmented text from the Mari Royal Archives?)

      The land of 'Meluhha', and sometimes her products, are also mentioned in Old Baylonian texts which, I would assume, date from the same broad period (post-1800 BCE) the Mari letters do. A partial list of Old Babylonian references to Meluhha is found in G.L. Possehl's paper "Meluhha", in J. Reade (ed.), _The Indian Ocean in
      Antiquity_, London, Kegan Paul International, 1996, pp. 133-208. The list (pp. 142-44) includes Enki and the World Order, Enki and Ninhursag, the Lips^ur litanies, tablets from Nippur, formulae, incantations, lexical glosses etc.

      In this connection, I recall having read that, at certain time, the location of the lands of Magan and Meluhha shifted in the Mesopotamian worldview. After the end of the Old Babylonian period, the terms Magan and Meluhha were used exclusively, and this only in literary contexts, to denote, respectively, Egypt (and, perhaps, parts of Nubia too) and Nubia (and, perhaps, also other regions extending as far as Ethiopia).

      The two toponyms, which in the third and early second millennia had designated countries situated in the eastern limits of the geographical horizon, were transferred to two other far-off countries situated in the southern limits of the geographical horizon: Northeast Africa. Akkadian cuneiform texts, starting from the Amarna letters of Egypt (14th century BCE) and reaching into Neo-Assyrian inscriptions, consistently identify Meluhha with a land south of
      Egypt -- Nubia/Kush, or perhaps even Ethiopia/Punt. Neo-Assyrian inscriptions identify Magan with Egypt itself.

      The Achaemenids later reverted to the use of the toponym Maka (i.e., the older Magan) to designate a satrapy situated on the Gulf of Oman coast, though it is unclear whether the Iranian or Arabian side of it is meant, or both taken together (as it appears to be the case with the older Sumero-Akkadian place-name Magan). The designation Magan/Maka(n) was, therefore, rather "mobile" in the Bronze and Iron Ages. In the case of Meluhha, however, there seems to have been no later re-adoption of this name to designate the country it had formerly designated, namely, the coastal regions of northwestern South Asia. Meluhha continued to be identified with a country south of Egypt till the end of the Assyrian Empire.

      Thus, my new question is: Are we sure that the land of Meluhha mentioned in Mari administrative texts, as well as the Meluhha mentioned in texts from the Old Babylonian period in general, was still meant to be the "older" one situated in South Asia? Or was it already the African Meluhha?

      Again thanks, and any further insight will be welcome.

      Regards,
      Francesco Brighenti
      Venice, Italy


      > -Patricia Hamrick
      > New York University,
      > New York City
    • Michael
      Dear Francesco, your question can be easily answered. Do we have in the Mari texts any mentions of Egypt? No. Than, since any imaginable route connecting Mari
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 12, 2010
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        Dear Francesco,

        your question can be easily answered. Do we have in the Mari texts any mentions of Egypt? No.

        Than, since any imaginable route connecting Mari trade to an African Meluhha, would have necessarily passed by Egypt, we can have here no mention of an African Meluhha.

        > Thus, my new question is: Are we sure that the land of Meluhha mentioned in Mari administrative texts, as well as the Meluhha mentioned in texts from the Old Babylonian period in general, was still meant to be the "older" one situated in South Asia? Or was it already the African Meluhha? <

        The problem is however still a little more complicated. We have a Hellenistic Babylonian text (astronomical Babylonian diaries) mentioning Meluhha as being maybe on the road of Antiochos IV back from Egypt (he never went farther than Lower Egypt in his campaign) 19.8 to 16.9.169.

        "king Antiochus marched victoriously through the cities of Meluhha and..."

        The mention on 1.10.169 of foreigners in Thebes can allude only to the Jewish Elephantine soldiers being sent North to reinforce the Ptolemaic army against the advancing Antiochos IV. (according also to Werner Huss, Egypten in hellenistischer Zeit, 2001, 554, N.129 contra Peter Franz Mittag, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Eine politische Biographie, 2006). This is hardly the way an Egyptian source would mention the presence of an enemy army in Thebes. His first campaign as well as the later one are reputed to have ended in Lower Egypt.

        Best regards,

        Michael Bányai
        Oberursel, Germany
      • Niels Peter Lemche
        Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list: Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people, apart from the
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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          Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

          Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people, apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have brought it up here).

          I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of human beings?

          Niels Peter Lemche
        • Thomas L. Thompson
          Yes, Assurbanipal II in one deportation text (ANET?) refers to bringing the people of a town in Lebanon back to their homes and I believe there are a few
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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            Yes, Assurbanipal II in one "deportation" text (ANET?) refers to bringing the people of a town in Lebanon back to their homes and I believe there are a few comparable texts.
            Thomas



            Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

            Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people, apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have brought it up here).

            I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of human beings?

            Niels Peter Lemche
          • Thomas L. Thompson
            Although the motifs are variant, one might also think of Esarhaddon s biography in which Babylon is punished by the gods with a (the?) flood and the people
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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              Although the motifs are variant, one might also think of Esarhaddon's "biography" in which Babylon is punished by the gods with a (the?) flood and the people exiled. After a serendipitous 11 years (reversing a divinely cursed exile of 70 years with the help of cuneiform's wonderful orthography), Esarhaddon is called by the gods to reunite people, gods and king.
              Thomas

              Thomas L Thompson
              Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

              ________________________________________
              Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Thomas L. Thompson [tlt@...]
              Sendt: 16. august 2010 14:42
              Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              Emne: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation

              Yes, Assurbanipal II in one "deportation" text (ANET?) refers to bringing the people of a town in Lebanon back to their homes and I believe there are a few comparable texts.
              Thomas



              Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

              Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people, apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have brought it up here).

              I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of human beings?

              Niels Peter Lemche




              ------------------------------------

              Yahoo! Groups Links



              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Michael Banyai
              Dear Niels Peter, I think we have first to define the nature of the deportation and repatriation according to the Olt Testament etc. While the deportation
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                Dear Niels Peter,



                I think we have first to define the nature of the deportation and repatriation according to the Olt Testament etc. While the deportation might have been a rather large scale event, the repatriation concerned just the Israelite elites and their households. It is not a one to one reversion of the deportation.



                Once we have accepted this formula, than we can compare it for example with the story of Idrimi, returning from exile with people of his land he managed to rally around himself in Ammija with the support of the habiru-people to Aleppo. Maybe no wonder the mention of a Halap of the Habiru.



                Regards,



                Michael Banyai

                Oberursel



                Von: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] Im Auftrag von Niels Peter Lemche
                Gesendet: Montag, 16. August 2010 14:36
                An: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                Betreff: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people, apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have brought it up here).

                I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of human beings?

                Niels Peter Lemche





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • victor avigdor hurowitz
                How about the Cyrus Cylinder? In addition to repatriating the abducted gods to their sanctuary Cyrus says (following Michalowski s translation in Chavalas The
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                  How about the Cyrus Cylinder? In addition to repatriating the abducted
                  gods to
                  their sanctuary Cyrus says (following Michalowski's translation in
                  Chavalas The Ancient Near East) "I returned to these sanctuaries...the
                  images that had been in them...I also gathered all their people and
                  returned to them their habitations" The Akkadian on that last bit is
                  (following H.P. Shaudig)kullat ni$e$unu upahhiramma uter dadmi$un (line
                  32).
                  Best
                  Victor Hurowitz
                  BGU



                  On Mon, 16 Aug 2010, Niels Peter Lemche wrote:

                  > �
                  >
                  > Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:
                  >
                  > Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                  > apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                  > historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                  > brought it up here).
                  >
                  > I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                  > human beings?
                  >
                  > Niels Peter Lemche
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Michael Banyai
                  The 70 years of exile, Thomas is speaking about, appear also in the prophecy of Isaiah 23:15 and 17 about Tyre. This seems to be an important Mesopotamian
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                    The 70 years of exile, Thomas is speaking about, appear also in the prophecy
                    of Isaiah 23:15 and 17 about Tyre. This seems to be an important
                    Mesopotamian topos, first appearing in biblical works following contacts
                    with Assyria. It may have been a current curse in standard contracts with
                    Assyria by that time, thus being the real consequence of breaking a contract
                    closed with Assyria.



                    Thus is the later prophecy of Jeremiah 29:10, 25:11-12 concerning the 70
                    year of banishment nothing else than rendering the exact provisions of the
                    contract between Judah and Babylon, one of its copies being deposed in the
                    temple of Jerusalem. Of course would the punishment come from Yahweh, since
                    he is the one to implement the curses of the contract on Judean side. The
                    attempts to hinder the accession of Jeremiah to the temple are to be seen in
                    this context. Yahweh, as the one to punish Judah for breaking the contract,
                    would return his grace to his people after punishing it, as according to the
                    contract.



                    My father taught me to read attentively each time the lowercased text in a
                    contract, for eventually hidden provisions.



                    Regards,



                    Michael Bányai

                    Oberursel



                    Von: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] Im Auftrag von
                    Thomas L. Thompson
                    Gesendet: Montag, 16. August 2010 15:05
                    An: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    Betreff: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation





                    Although the motifs are variant, one might also think of Esarhaddon's
                    "biography" in which Babylon is punished by the gods with a (the?) flood and
                    the people exiled. After a serendipitous 11 years (reversing a divinely
                    cursed exile of 70 years with the help of cuneiform's wonderful
                    orthography), Esarhaddon is called by the gods to reunite people, gods and
                    king.
                    Thomas

                    Thomas L Thompson
                    Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

                    ________________________________________
                    Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                    [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> ] På vegne af
                    Thomas L. Thompson [tlt@... <mailto:tlt%40teol.ku.dk> ]
                    Sendt: 16. august 2010 14:42
                    Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                    Emne: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation

                    Yes, Assurbanipal II in one "deportation" text (ANET?) refers to bringing
                    the people of a town in Lebanon back to their homes and I believe there are
                    a few comparable texts.
                    Thomas

                    Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                    Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                    apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                    historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                    brought it up here).

                    I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                    human beings?

                    Niels Peter Lemche

                    ------------------------------------

                    Yahoo! Groups Links

                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Lisbeth S. Fried
                    Dear Niels-Peter, This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming). The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to their ancestral
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                      Dear Niels-Peter,

                      This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming).



                      The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to
                      their ancestral homeland under the Achaemenids. The 1926-27 excavations at
                      Neirab, Syria, unearthed an archive of clay tablets dating from the reign of
                      Nebuchadnezzar to the early years of Darius I (i.e., from 560 to 520 BCE)
                      which recorded loans of barley and silver. The documents all refer to a
                      people named the Neirabians, i.e., the people who lived in the city where
                      the archive was found. Yet the places where the transactions occurred were
                      in the vicinity of Nippur in Babylon. This was evidently the archive of a
                      community of Syrians which had been exiled to Nippur under Nebuchadnezzar
                      and which had been released to their own city in the beginning of Darius'
                      reign (Eph'al 1978). As with the Jews, they had maintained a community
                      identity in exile in Babylon for four decades, returning to their own city
                      as soon as they were able.





                      Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.

                      Department of Near Eastern Studies

                      and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

                      University of Michigan

                      202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111

                      Ann Arbor, MI 48104

                      www.lizfried.com <http://www.lizfried.com/>





                      _____

                      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      Niels Peter Lemche
                      Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:36 AM
                      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                      Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                      Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                      apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                      historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                      brought it up here).

                      I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                      human beings?

                      Niels Peter Lemche





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Niels Peter Lemche
                      and you find evidence of such a return in the archaeological material from the Jerusalem area? Sorry, I have absolutely no confidence in Ezra/Nehemiah as a
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                        and you find evidence of such a return in the archaeological material from the Jerusalem area?

                        Sorry, I have absolutely no confidence in Ezra/Nehemiah as a historical source.

                        Niels Peter Lemche



                        -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                        Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Lisbeth S. Fried
                        Sendt: den 16 augusti 2010 18:59
                        Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                        Emne: RE: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation

                        Dear Niels-Peter,

                        This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming).



                        The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to
                        their ancestral homeland under the Achaemenids. The 1926-27 excavations at
                        Neirab, Syria, unearthed an archive of clay tablets dating from the reign of
                        Nebuchadnezzar to the early years of Darius I (i.e., from 560 to 520 BCE)
                        which recorded loans of barley and silver. The documents all refer to a
                        people named the Neirabians, i.e., the people who lived in the city where
                        the archive was found. Yet the places where the transactions occurred were
                        in the vicinity of Nippur in Babylon. This was evidently the archive of a
                        community of Syrians which had been exiled to Nippur under Nebuchadnezzar
                        and which had been released to their own city in the beginning of Darius'
                        reign (Eph'al 1978). As with the Jews, they had maintained a community
                        identity in exile in Babylon for four decades, returning to their own city
                        as soon as they were able.





                        Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.

                        Department of Near Eastern Studies

                        and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

                        University of Michigan

                        202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111

                        Ann Arbor, MI 48104

                        www.lizfried.com <http://www.lizfried.com/>





                        _____

                        From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                        Niels Peter Lemche
                        Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:36 AM
                        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                        Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                        Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                        apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                        historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                        brought it up here).

                        I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                        human beings?

                        Niels Peter Lemche





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                        ------------------------------------

                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                      • Lisbeth S. Fried
                        Well, forget the last line of that paragraph then. I do think that an exile and return can be found in the archaeology of Judah and Jerusalem (Faust has a book
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                          Well, forget the last line of that paragraph then.

                          I do think that an exile and return can be found in the archaeology of Judah
                          and Jerusalem (Faust has a book on the 6th century, forthcoming, which he
                          has permitted me to read), but I was responding to your query about other
                          returns.



                          Liz Fried





                          _____

                          From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                          Niels Peter Lemche
                          Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 1:31 PM
                          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: SV: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                          and you find evidence of such a return in the archaeological material from
                          the Jerusalem area?

                          Sorry, I have absolutely no confidence in Ezra/Nehemiah as a historical
                          source.

                          Niels Peter Lemche



                          -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                          Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                          [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> ] På vegne af
                          Lisbeth S. Fried
                          Sendt: den 16 augusti 2010 18:59
                          Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Emne: RE: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation

                          Dear Niels-Peter,

                          This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming).



                          The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to
                          their ancestral homeland under the Achaemenids. The 1926-27 excavations at
                          Neirab, Syria, unearthed an archive of clay tablets dating from the reign of
                          Nebuchadnezzar to the early years of Darius I (i.e., from 560 to 520 BCE)
                          which recorded loans of barley and silver. The documents all refer to a
                          people named the Neirabians, i.e., the people who lived in the city where
                          the archive was found. Yet the places where the transactions occurred were
                          in the vicinity of Nippur in Babylon. This was evidently the archive of a
                          community of Syrians which had been exiled to Nippur under Nebuchadnezzar
                          and which had been released to their own city in the beginning of Darius'
                          reign (Eph'al 1978). As with the Jews, they had maintained a community
                          identity in exile in Babylon for four decades, returning to their own city
                          as soon as they were able.





                          Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.

                          Department of Near Eastern Studies

                          and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

                          University of Michigan

                          202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111

                          Ann Arbor, MI 48104

                          www.lizfried.com <http://www.lizfried.com/>





                          _____

                          From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                          [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf
                          Of
                          Niels Peter Lemche
                          Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:36 AM
                          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                          Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                          Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                          apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                          historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                          brought it up here).

                          I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                          human beings?

                          Niels Peter Lemche





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                          ------------------------------------

                          Yahoo! Groups Links








                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Niels Peter Lemche
                          Dear Liz, may I suggest that we take this discussion to the biblical studies list where we have as eminar based on Ahn s forthcoming book on the exile. It is
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                            Dear Liz,

                            may I suggest that we take this discussion to the biblical studies list where we have as eminar based on Ahn's forthcoming book on the exile. It is hardly a matter that suits this forum. I only asked for parallels. And sorry to all for my earlier mail. I forgot to check that it did not go to biblical studies.

                            Niels Peter Lemche



                            -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                            Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Niels Peter Lemche
                            Sendt: den 16 augusti 2010 19:31
                            Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                            Emne: SV: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation

                            and you find evidence of such a return in the archaeological material from the Jerusalem area?

                            Sorry, I have absolutely no confidence in Ezra/Nehemiah as a historical source.

                            Niels Peter Lemche



                            -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                            Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Lisbeth S. Fried
                            Sendt: den 16 augusti 2010 18:59
                            Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                            Emne: RE: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation

                            Dear Niels-Peter,

                            This is from my commentary on Ezra-Nehemiah (forthcoming).



                            The Jews were not the only community to return from Babylon to
                            their ancestral homeland under the Achaemenids. The 1926-27 excavations at
                            Neirab, Syria, unearthed an archive of clay tablets dating from the reign of
                            Nebuchadnezzar to the early years of Darius I (i.e., from 560 to 520 BCE)
                            which recorded loans of barley and silver. The documents all refer to a
                            people named the Neirabians, i.e., the people who lived in the city where
                            the archive was found. Yet the places where the transactions occurred were
                            in the vicinity of Nippur in Babylon. This was evidently the archive of a
                            community of Syrians which had been exiled to Nippur under Nebuchadnezzar
                            and which had been released to their own city in the beginning of Darius'
                            reign (Eph'al 1978). As with the Jews, they had maintained a community
                            identity in exile in Babylon for four decades, returning to their own city
                            as soon as they were able.





                            Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.

                            Department of Near Eastern Studies

                            and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

                            University of Michigan

                            202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111

                            Ann Arbor, MI 48104

                            www.lizfried.com <http://www.lizfried.com/>





                            _____

                            From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                            Niels Peter Lemche
                            Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:36 AM
                            To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [ANE-2] deportation and repatriation





                            Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                            Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                            apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                            historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                            brought it up here).

                            I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                            human beings?

                            Niels Peter Lemche





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                          • Niels Peter Lemche
                            As I said to Liz, Take this discussion to where it belongs: Biblical Studies. Discussions about biblical historicity are normally not welcome on this list. And
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 16, 2010
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                              As I said to Liz,

                              Take this discussion to where it belongs: Biblical Studies. Discussions about biblical historicity are normally not welcome on this list. And you are already involved in the discussion on biblical studies.

                              Niels Peter Lemche

                              -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                              Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Michael Banyai
                              Sendt: den 16 augusti 2010 18:29
                              Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                              Emne: AW: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation

                              The 70 years of exile, Thomas is speaking about, appear also in the prophecy
                              of Isaiah 23:15 and 17 about Tyre. This seems to be an important
                              Mesopotamian topos, first appearing in biblical works following contacts
                              with Assyria. It may have been a current curse in standard contracts with
                              Assyria by that time, thus being the real consequence of breaking a contract
                              closed with Assyria.



                              Thus is the later prophecy of Jeremiah 29:10, 25:11-12 concerning the 70
                              year of banishment nothing else than rendering the exact provisions of the
                              contract between Judah and Babylon, one of its copies being deposed in the
                              temple of Jerusalem. Of course would the punishment come from Yahweh, since
                              he is the one to implement the curses of the contract on Judean side. The
                              attempts to hinder the accession of Jeremiah to the temple are to be seen in
                              this context. Yahweh, as the one to punish Judah for breaking the contract,
                              would return his grace to his people after punishing it, as according to the
                              contract.



                              My father taught me to read attentively each time the lowercased text in a
                              contract, for eventually hidden provisions.



                              Regards,



                              Michael Bányai

                              Oberursel



                              Von: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] Im Auftrag von
                              Thomas L. Thompson
                              Gesendet: Montag, 16. August 2010 15:05
                              An: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                              Betreff: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation





                              Although the motifs are variant, one might also think of Esarhaddon's
                              "biography" in which Babylon is punished by the gods with a (the?) flood and
                              the people exiled. After a serendipitous 11 years (reversing a divinely
                              cursed exile of 70 years with the help of cuneiform's wonderful
                              orthography), Esarhaddon is called by the gods to reunite people, gods and
                              king.
                              Thomas

                              Thomas L Thompson
                              Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

                              ________________________________________
                              Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                              [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> ] På vegne af
                              Thomas L. Thompson [tlt@... <mailto:tlt%40teol.ku.dk> ]
                              Sendt: 16. august 2010 14:42
                              Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
                              Emne: [ANE-2] SV: deportation and repatriation

                              Yes, Assurbanipal II in one "deportation" text (ANET?) refers to bringing
                              the people of a town in Lebanon back to their homes and I believe there are
                              a few comparable texts.
                              Thomas

                              Because of a discussion -- a seminar -- on the Biblical Studies list:

                              Do we have other examples from the ANE of repatriation of deported people,
                              apart from the one in the Old Testament? (this is not a discussion about the
                              historicity of that event--if that had been the case, I would not have
                              brought it up here).

                              I know of repatriation of abducted gods from Babylonian tradition, but of
                              human beings?

                              Niels Peter Lemche

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                              http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





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                            • Francesco Brighenti
                              ... Cf. also the case of the Persian Empire. Foreign workers, called _kurtash_, who were sometimes slaves, sometimes free people working for wages, and
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 17, 2010
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                                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Banyai" <michael.banyai@...> wrote:

                                > The 70 years of exile, Thomas is speaking about, appear also in
                                > the prophecy of Isaiah 23:15 and 17 about Tyre. This seems to be
                                > an important Mesopotamian topos, first appearing in biblical works
                                > following contacts with Assyria. It may have been a current curse
                                > in standard contracts with Assyria by that time, thus being the
                                > real consequence of breaking a contract closed with Assyria.

                                Cf. also the case of the Persian Empire.

                                Foreign workers, called _kurtash_, who were sometimes slaves,
                                sometimes free people working for wages, and sometimes indentured
                                servants, were resettled by the Persians in different satrapies of
                                their empire. Other groups of foreig workers were settled in Babylonia by the Persians under the _hatru_ system, by virtue of which a community was allotted an area that it cultivated in family plots on condition of military service and payment of an annual tax.

                                Apart from the _kurtash_ and _hatru_ systems, the Achaemenids apparently resorted to deportation of entire foreign communities when these broke some kind of 'contract' made with them. This is evinced by the deportation of some (presumably numerically large) Greek communities to Bactria and Sogdiana -- which H.G. Rawlinson has termed as the "Siberia" of the Achaemenian Empire! -- inferred on the basis of the following sources:

                                * Herodotus (4.204) writes that the inhabitants of the city of Barca
                                in Cyrenaica were deported by Darius I to a village in Bactria that
                                was also named Barca.

                                * Herodotus (6.9) also mentions a threat made by the Persian
                                commanders to the inhabitants of Miletus at the culmination of the
                                Ionian Revolt before the battle of Lade (494 B.C.) that their
                                maidens would be deported to Bactria. This can be taken as a mere
                                suggestion that the Persians used to threaten their Greek enemies to
                                deport the population of their cities to the far eastern portions of
                                their empire, and we aren't told they really did this to the
                                Milesians; yet, this passage by Herodotus has its importance
                                inasmuch as it was written a few decades after the Persian Wars.

                                * Curtius (7.5.28-35) and Strabo (11.11.4) describe the episode of
                                Alexander's encounter with, and subsequent destruction of, the
                                alleged descendants of the Branchidae, a clan of Ionian priestly
                                functionaries attached to the sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma near
                                Miletus and relocated by the Persians in a settlement
                                between Bactria and Sogdiana (some scholars think it was half-way
                                between present-day Balkh and Samarkand). Curtius and Strabo's
                                common, earlier source is Callisthenes, Alexander's historian. W.W.
                                Tarn and other historians have dismissed this episode as an invention of Callisthenes', but it is possible that the Branchidae no less than the Barcaeans were deported by the Persians to Bactria-Sogdiana.

                                * There is another possible example of a historical deportation of
                                Greeks to Bactria by the Achaemenids: that of the inhabitants of the
                                city of Kariatas (mentioned in Strabo 11.11.4 as the place where
                                Callisthenes was arrested; Latin Cariatae), who like the Branchidae
                                were massacred by Alexander. According to F.L. Holt (_Alexander the
                                Great and Bactria: The Formation of a Greek Frontier in Central
                                Asia_, Brill Archive, 1988, p. 73, n. 94), they may have been the
                                descendants of Greeks from Caria in Asia Minor.

                                In sum, only the deportation of the Barcaeans to Bactria seems to be
                                warranted by near-contemporary souces (Herodotus), yet there are
                                indications (Curtius, Strabo) that other Greek communities were
                                deported by the Persian to Bactria or Sogdiana. Other such
                                deportations could have simply escaped the notice of ancient
                                historians.

                                Kindest regards,

                                Francesco Brighenti
                                Venice, Italy
                              • Francesco Brighenti
                                ... OK, this apparently settles the question. I didn t know Egypt is never mentioned in the Mari letters. So, judging from what you write, Meluhha, that is,
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 17, 2010
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                                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Michael" <michael.banyai@...> wrote:

                                  > Dear Francesco,
                                  >
                                  > Your question can be easily answered. Do we have in the
                                  > Mari texts any mentions of Egypt? No.
                                  >
                                  > Then, since any imaginable route connecting Mari trade to
                                  > an African Meluhha, would have necessarily passed by Egypt,
                                  > we can have here no mention of an African Meluhha.

                                  OK, this apparently settles the question. I didn't know Egypt is never
                                  mentioned in the Mari letters.

                                  So, judging from what you write, Meluhha, that is, the coastal areas of the by then defunct Indus Civilization, was somewhat 'remembered' in the Mari letters, i.e. in the time of Hammurabi, some centuries after the end of that South Asian civilization.

                                  In this case, the shift in the location of Meluhha to eastern Africa (as seen, for instance, in the Amarna letters) must have occurred toward or after the end of the Old Babylonian period.

                                  Again thanks! And best regards.

                                  Francesco Brighenti
                                  Venice, Italy
                                • Rafal Kolinski
                                  Dear Francesco,   if you read French, try:   B. Groeneberg, La golfe arabo-persique, vu de MAri, Florilegium MArianum I, 1992, 69-80.   I am sorry for a
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 31, 2012
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                                    Dear Francesco,
                                     
                                    if you read French, try:
                                     
                                    B. Groeneberg, La golfe arabo-persique, vu de MAri, Florilegium MArianum I, 1992, 69-80.
                                     
                                    I am sorry for a late answer but only now I was ble to sort through archivail e-mails
                                     
                                    best regards
                                     
                                    Rafal Kolinski
                                    Institute of Prehistory
                                    Adam Mickiewicz University
                                    Poznan, Poland


                                    ________________________________
                                    From: Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...>
                                    To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Wednesday, 28 July 2010, 22:29
                                    Subject: [ANE-2] Mari Letters


                                     


                                    Dear members of the List,

                                    In this paper:

                                    Nicole Boivin & Dorian Q. Fuller, "Shell Middens, Ships and Seeds: Exploring Coastal Subsistence, Maritime Trade and the Dispersal of Domesticates in and Around the Ancient Arabian Peninsula," _Journal of World Prehistory_ 22 (2009), pp. 113-180,

                                    I read (on p. 155):

                                    "Evidence for Harappan trade [with the Persian Gulf and Mesopotamia -- Francesco] continues into the Late Harappan period, as evidenced by both archaeological finds and textual sources like the Mari letters (Carter 2001; Warburton 2007). [...] [T]rade was by this point clearly with the Late Harappan communities of Gujarat, rather than the now disintegrated society of the Indus Valley proper."

                                    The two sources cited by the authors in this passage are:

                                    Carter, R. (2006). Boat remains and maritime trade in the Persian Gulf during the sixth and fifth millennia BC. Antiquity, 80, 52-63.

                                    Warburton, D. A. (2007). What happened in the Near East ca. 2000 BC? In E. H. Seland (Ed.), The Indian Ocean in the Ancient Period: Definite places, translocal exchange. Oxford: BAR International Series 1593.

                                    Can anyone here provide any references to the above mentioned textual evidence for Indo-Mesopotamian trade relations (allegedly) contained in the Mari Letters (c. 1800 BCE)?

                                    Thanks in advance, and best regards.

                                    Francesco Brighenti, Ph.D.
                                    VAIS -- Venetian Academy of Indian Studies
                                    Venice, Italy




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