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Amarna tablets: Letters from Aziru
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Letters from Aziru

Letter to his brother Khai

Map of the Levant and Mesopotamia 1 To Khâi [1] my brother 2 thus (I speak, even I) Aziru [2] thy brother: 3 Unto thee may there be peace, 4 and from the soldiers of the palace 5 of the king my lord may there be much peace!
6 What immediately 7 I speak before the king my lord, 8 publicly I speak, 9 (even) I and my sons 10 and my brothers, all (being) servants 11 of the king my lord before (him). 12 Now I and Khatib 13 have gone again 14 with a present to Khazai [3] 15 [who is] among you [4]; verily the frontier, 16 behold! I have reached, 17 From the orders of my lord 18 I do not free myself, 19 or from your orders, 20 (even) I the servant of my lord. 21 The king of the land of the Hittites in the country of Nukhasse [5] 22 is staying and I am afraid 23 of him (and) have defended myself. 24 To Phoenicia he ascends; 25 and if the city of Dunip [6] 26 falls, he stays in a place (only) 2 parasangs from here (?), 27 and I am afraid of him; 28 yet according to this order 29 he remains until he quits it. 30 And now one has gone 31 with a costly present to him 32 (even) I and Khatib.
Translated by A. H. Sayce
Records of the Past, Series 2, Vol.3, 1890

Remarks by A.H.Sayce:
[1] Khai: The Hebrew khay, "living"; compare the name of Hiel, 1 Kings xvi, 34
[2] Aziru: or Aziri (Ezir in the Old Testament) was the son of Dûdu (the Biblical Dodo or David), a high official at the court of the Pharaoh.
[3] Khazai: This seems to be the name of the Hittite king.
[4] you: plural
[5] Nukhasse: Nukhasse was in northern Syria, (Marshasse (Mer'ash) according to Conder, cf. letters below)
[6] Dunip: The Tunip of the Egyptian monuments, now Tennib, between Azar and Arpad (Erfad), north-west of Aleppo. In the Assyrian period, from the ninth century B.C. downwards, Tunip disappears from history, its place being taken by Khazazu (Azaz) and Arpad.

Letter to the king of Egypt

To the Great King my Lord my Sun thus (says) this thy servant Aziru. Seven times and seven times at the feet of my Lord my God my Sun I bow.
My Lord, I am thy servant and (from my youth ?) in the presence of the King my Lord and fulfill all my orders to the sight of my Lord. And what they who are my (agents ?) shall say to my Lord as to the chiefs who are faithful, in the sight of the King my Lord, will not hear me speak, I who am thy servant, sincere as long as I live? But when the King my Lord sent Khani, I was resting in the city of Tunip, and there was no knowledge, behold, of his arriving. Whereupon he gave notice, and coming after him also, have I not reached him? And let Khani speak to testify with humility, and let the King my Lord ask him, how my brethren have prepared to tend (him), and Betilu will send to his presence oxen and beasts and fowls: his food and his drink will be provided. I shall give horses and beasts for his journey; and may the King my Lord hear my messages, with my assurances in the presence of the King my Lord. Khani will march much cared for in my sight, he accompanies me as my comrade, like my father; and lo! my Lord says, 'You turn away from the appearance of Khani.' Thus thy Gods and the Sun-God truly had known if I did not stay in the city of Tunip. Moreover because of the intention to set in order the city of Simyra, the King my Lord has sent word (and) the kings of the land of Marshasse (Mer'ash) have been foes to me. They have marched on my cities: they have observed the desire of Khatib, and has he not promised them? lo! hastily he has promised them. And truly my Lord has known that half of the possessions that the King my Lord has given, Khatib takes; the tribute, and the gold and the silver that the King my Lord has given me; and Khatib takes all the tribute; and truly my Lord has known. Moreover as against my Lord the King's having said, 'Why doest thou yield service to the messenger of the King of the land of the Hittites, and doest not yield service to my messenger?' This region is the land of my Lord, he establishes me in it, with men of government. Let a messenger of my Lord come, and all that I speak of in the sight of my Lord let me give. Tin and ships, men and weapons, and trees let me give.
Claude Reignier Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets, 1893, pp.11f.

Letter to Dudu

To Dudu my Lord my father thus (says) Aziru your son, your servant: at the feet of my father I bow.
Lo! let Dudu send the wishes of my Lord ////// and I /////// Moreover, behold, thou shalt not reject (me), my father, and whatever are the wishes of Dudu my father, send, and will not I ////// Behold, thou art my father and my Lord: I am thy son; the land of the Amorites is your land; and my house is your house. Say what you wish, and I will truly perform your wishes. ///////////////
Claude Reignier Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets, 1893, p.12.

Letter to Dudu

To Dudu my Lord my father, thus Aziru thy servant. At my Lord's feet I bow.
Khatib will march and has carefully followed the messages (or orders) of the King my Lord before (he goes); and what is good increases; and I have been gladdened very much; and my brethren, men serving the King my Lord, and men who are servants of Dudu my Lord. They had feared exceedingly. Behold, he will march to command for the King my Lord with me. From the orders of my Lord my God and my Sun, and from the orders of Dudu my Lord, I will never depart. My Lord, now Khatib goes forth with me, and also he will march to strengthen me. My Lord, the king of the land of the Hittites will march from the land of Marshasse (Mer'ash) and has he not boasted to meet me? and the king of the Hittites will rebel, and, behold, I and Khatib will march. Let the King my Lord hear my messages. I have feared without the countenance of the King my Lord and without the countenance of Dudu; and now (my God and my messenger.) And truly these are my brethren - Dudu and the great men of the King my Lord; and truly I will march; and since, O Dudu, both the King my Lord and the chiefs thus are ready, everything against Aziru is forgiven which has been unfavorable for my God (i.e. the king of Egypt), and for us. And now I and Khatib have appeared servants of the King. Truly thou knowest, Dudu, behold! I go forth mightily.
Claude Reignier Conder, The Tell Amarna Tablets, 1893, pp.12f.

 


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