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Amarna tablets: Letters from Ashur-Uballit, king of Assyria, to Amenhotep IV
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Letters by Ashur-Uballit

EA 15

Map of the Levant and Mesopotamia 1 To the king of the land of Egypt 2 speak!
3 So (says) Ashur-uballit , the king of the land of Ashur: 4 To your house, to your country, 5 to your war chariotry and to your army 6 well-being!
7 I have sent you my envoy 8 to visit you and to see your country. 9 That my forefathers until now 10 have not sent, 11 I have sent you today: 12 one fine chariot, two horses, 13 (and) a jewel from precious stone, a date shaped bead from genuine lapis lazuli 14 as a good-wish present, 15 (I) have directed unto you. 16 My envoy, whom I have sent you 17 (only) to visit (you), 18 do not hold him back! 19 May he visit and leave! 20 Your opinion and the situation of 21 your country may he observe, 22 then may he leave!
Pinhas Artzi: The Rise of the Middle Assyrian Kingdom According to el Amarna Letters
P. Artzi, ed. Bar Ilan Studies in History, 1978, Bar-Ilan University Press, Ramat Gan

EA 16

    To Napkhororia [1], Great King, king of Egypt, my brother, thus speaks Ashur-uballit [2], king of Assyria, Great King, your brother: may well-being reign over you, your house and your land!
    I feel very pleased after having seen your envoy. This is felt, in truth... before me. I have sent you a beautiful royal chariot, two white horses, an unfurnished chariot and a beautiful stone seal as gifts. Of the Great King... it is said: The gold is in your land like the dust; Why is there .... in your eyes? I have begun a new palace, and I want to have it ready soon. Send me as much gold as is required for its decoration and for what is needed.
    When my father, Ashur-nadin-ahe, ordered his messengers to go to Egypt, they sent him twenty gold talents. And when the king of Khanigalbat sent his messengers to your father [3] in Egypt, they sent twenty gold talents to him. See, to the king of Khanigalbat [4] I am ..., but to me you have sent only a little gold, which is not sufficient, in spite of the goings and comings of my messenger. If it is your intention that a sincere friendship exist, send much gold! And you may send people on your part, and you will receive whatever you need!
    Our lands are far apart, which is why our envoys must travel wisely. Those who detained your envoy were the Sutu [5], his attackers. Dead will I be until I have sent people to take the Sutu attackers... They will not detain my envoy. Why do they have to remain in foreign lands, and die in foreign lands, the messengers? If they have passed in a foreign country a part of their time, and the king has taken advantage of it, they may then remain there and die; the king has, certainly, had a gain. But if he has not had any, why do the messengers we send have to die in a foreign country? The envoys are being attacked and die in a foreign land.


[1]     Napkhororia: Akhenaten Nefer-khepru-re (1350-1334)
[2]     Ashur-uballit I (1363-1328)
[3]     Amenhotep III (1402-1364)
[4]     formerly Mitanni
[5]     nomadic Semites in the service of Egypt
 
Another translation of EA 16:
 
1 To Napkhurîya (Neferu-kheper-Ra) [the great king]
2 the king of Egypt [1], my brother, [I write]
3 thus, (even I) Assur-yuballidh king of the country of Assyria,
4 the great king, thy brother.
5 To thyself, to thy house and thy country may there be peace!
   6 That I have seen thy ambassadors
7 has pleased (me) greatly; thy ambassadors
8 I have sent for to appear in my presence.
9 A chariot [the choicest?] in the kingdom with (its) harness
10 and two white horses, [together with]
11 one chariot without harness and a seal of white alabaster
12 I have despatched as a present for thee.
13 For the great king is produced perpetually
14 the gold (which) in thy country (is like) the dust
15 (that) they collect: why in thy presence
16 is it brought and kept back, is it withheld and not sent?
17 All the gold that is my property,
18 as well as what is lacking to it, send.
   19 When Asur-nadin-akhi my father
20 sent (an embassy) to the country of Egypt,
21 20 talents of gold did they despatch to him.
22 When the long of the country of Khani-Rabbatû [2]
23 to thy father and the land of Egypt
24 sent (an embassy), 20 talents of gold
25 did they despatch to him.
26 [As] to the king of Khani-[Rab]bati
27 [so] also to myself
28 despatch the gold.
29 [The road both in] going and returning
30 for the hands of my ambassadors
31 I have made secure.
32 If thou inclinest thy face favourably [3]
33 despatch much gold, and thy letter in return
34 write (to me) and what thou desirest let them take.
   35 Behold, distant lands
36 have the ambassadors visited and they have journeyed to (many) cities.
37 As for thy ambassadors
38 they have delayed on the way because the 'Suti [4]
39 threatened them with death, until I sent and
40 the 'Suti [4] took fright (?) .
41 My ambassadors ///// them
42 [and] they did not delay.
43 When the ambassadors (reached) the frontier (of Assyria)
44 why do they not wait ? and
45 at the frontier they are in a hurry (?)
46 It is fitting (?) at the frontier they should wait
47 for the king; everything is there
48 and he has established (it) and at the frontier
49 he has arranged (it). Against the king who fulfils everything
50 there is no charge (?) : why
51 at the frontier are they in a hurry (?),
52 even the ambassadors who /////
53 /////////
54 /////////
55 /////////
Translated by A. H. Sayce
Records of the Past, Series 2, Vol.3, 1890

[1] Egypt: Mitstsari as in the letters of the king of Mitanni (Sayce)
[2] Khani-Rabbatû: Khani the great or Eastern Kappadokia the capital of which was Malatiyeh. (Sayce)
[3] If thou inclinest thy face: literally If thou art good as to the face (Sayce)
[4] 'Suti: Nomads, who ranged through the desert on either side of the Tigris, in Mesopotamia and the south-east of Assyria. (Sayce)

 


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