Sunday, September 30, 2007

Archaeology series 22: Sargon II Inscriptions

REIGN: 721-705 BCE


*During the siege of Samaria (lasting for three years) by the Assyrians, Shalmaneser V died and was succeeded by Sargon II of Assyria,

*Under Sargon II the Assyrians completed the defeat of the Kingdom of Israel , capturing Samaria after a siege of three years and exiling the inhabitants, which comprised the ten tribes.

*Sargon is the biblical form of his name, in Akkadian it is Ć arru-kinu "legitimate king"

*Originally there was a united monarchy which split into two, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. The Kingdom of Israel had existed from roughly 930s BCE, until until about 720s BCE.


COS 2.118A, p. 293

[the Samar]ians [who had agreed with a hostile king]...I fought with them and decisively defeated them]....carried off as spoil. 50 chariots for my royal force ...[the rest of them I settled in the midst of Assyria]....The Tamudi, Ibadidi, Marsimani and Hayappa, who live in distant Arabia, in the desert, who knew neither overseer nor commander, who never brought tribute to any king--with the help of Ashshur my lord, I defeated them. I deported the rest of them. I settled them in Samaria/Samerina.

COS 2.118D, pp. 295-296, Nimrud Prisms

[The inhabitants of Sa]merina, who agreed [and plotted] with a king [hostile to] me, not to do service and not to bring tribute [to Ashshur] and who did battle, I fought against them with the power of the great gods, my lords. I counted as spoil 27,280 people, together with their chariots, and gods, in which they trusted. I formed a unit with 200 of [their] chariots for my royal force. I settled the rest of them in the midst of Assyria. I repopulated Samerina more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.

COS 2.118E, pp. 296-297, The Great "Summary" Inscription

I besieged and conquered Samarina. I took as booty 27,290 people who lived there. I gathered 50 chariots from them. I taught the rest of the deportees their skills. I set my eunuch over them, and I imposed upon them the same tribute as the previous king (Shalmaneser V).
Yaubi'di, the Hamathite...with no claim to the throne, an evil Hittite, was plotting in his heart to become king of Hamath. He rebel against me , had unified them, and prepared for battle. I mustered the masses of Ashshur's troops and at Qarqar, his favorite city, I besieged and captured him, together with his warriors. I burned Qarqar. Him I flayed.

COS 2.118F, p. 297

Small Summary Inscription
I plundered Sinuhtu, Samerina and the entire land of Bit-Humria (Israel).

COS 2.118G, p. 298
Pavement Inscription at Kur Sharrukin:

[Sargon II] who conquered Samaria and the entire land of Bit-Humria (Israel); who plundered Ashdod...

COS 2.118I, p. 298
Nimrud Inscription

[Sargon II]...subduer of Judah which lies far away....

Azekah Inscription
COS 2, 304, 2.119D

With the power and might of Ashur, my lord, I overwhelmed the district of Hezekiah of Judah...Azekah, his stronghold, which is located between my land and the land of Judah...I besieged by means of beaten earth ramps, by great battering rams brought near its walls, and with the attack of foot soldiers [...] They had seen the...of my cavalry and they had heard the roar of the mighty troops of the god Ashur, and their hearts became afraid. I captured this stronghold, I carried off its spoil, I destroyed, I devastated, I burned with fire. I approached Ekron, a royal city of the Philistines, which Hezekiah had captured and strengthened for himself....His skillful battle warriors he caused to enter into it. 701 BCE or 712, during the reign of Sargon II.

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