Inscriptions

An Old Assyrian cuneiform tablet that refers to Sam’al

Eleven shekels (92 grams) of tin to the employee from Sam’al (a-na ṣú-ḫa-ri-im ša sá-am-a-al). Five shekels (42 grams) of tin and a seal (made) of hematite to his partners. One mina and two shekels (517 grams) of tin from Ennum-bēlum to the investor. Five carnelian (gemstones) and two zigašarrum’s for the timber in Kunukam. Five dulbātum’s, a mulūḫum and sundry wares, (and) a half-pint (¼ SÌLA) of fine oil, (the value of which was) five-and-a-half shekels (46 grams) of tin, to the kaššum (a high official) of Kunukam. Two-and-a-quarter shekels (19 grams) of tin for wine. One-and-a-half shekels (12 grams) of tin to the wife of the kaššum. Six-and-a-half shekels (54 grams) of tin to the guide in the mountains.

Seven dulbātum’s, one mulūḫum and sundry wares, (the value of which was) five shekels (42 grams) of tin, to the wife of Adu (Haddu), prince of Šiḫwa. Five-sixths of a mina (417 grams) of tin to the palace of Šiḫwa. Two shekels (17 grams) of tin to the mayor. Three shekels (25 grams) of tin to the metalsmith. Three shekels (25 grams) of tin for wine. Fifteen shekels (125 grams) of tin to the kaššum of Šiḫwa. Half a mina and five shekels (292 grams) of tin to our escort. All of this I gave when I entered (the town).

Five dulbātum’s, two nigarašum’s and sundry wares, (the value of which was) one-third of a mina (167 grams) of copper, to the elders. Fifteen shekels (125 grams) of copper for divination. All of this in Tadḫul.

Three shekels (25 grams) of tin for wine in Šuḫru. One quart (1 SÌLA) of fine oil, ten dulbātum’s ZA-ma-ḫa-am, one mulūḫum and sundry wares of/for (the) children(?) to the palace. Four(?) shares to the (caravan) driver.

Four dulbātum’s and sundry wares, (the value of which was) two shekels (17 grams) of tin, to the priest. Three-and-a-half shekels (29 grams) of tin for wine. One-third of a shekel (3 grams) of tin also for wine. All of this I gave in ITI.KAM-im.           

This text is Kültepe c/k 441, which is dated to the nineteenth century BCE. It records payments made by an Assyrian merchant for various expenses related to what seems to have been an expedition to the Amanus Mountains to procure timber and wine (a mina is about 500 grams, or 1.1 lbs.; a shekel is 1/60th of a mina = 8.3 grams). Kunukam was probably a place in the mountains where the timber was cut. The expedition employed residents of Sam’al, presumably Zincirli, which is located at the foot of the mountains near the outlet of a major pass leading up to the forested slopes. The text was published by Khaled Nashef in his Rekonstruktion der Reiserouten zur Zeit der altassyrischen Handelsniederlassungen, pp. 18–20, text no. 7 (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1987) and is translated here by David Schloen. See also Nashef’s Die Orts– und Gewässernamen der altassyrischen Zeit, pp. 95–96 (Répertoire Géographique des Textes Cunéiformes 4; Wiesbaden, 1991); and see Michael Astour’s comments in the Journal of the American Oriental Society 109 (1989), p. 686, and in Eblaitica 4, p. 103 (ed. C. H. Gordon and G. A. Rendsburg; Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2002).

From the annals of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria

Shalmaneser, king of all people, prince, vice-regent of Aššur, strong king, king of Assyria, king of all the four quarters, sun(god) of all people, ruler of all lands, the king who is the desired object of the gods, chosen of the god Enlil, trustworthy appointee of Aššur, attentive prince, who gives income and offerings to the great gods, pious one, who ceaselessly provides for the Ekur, faithful shepherd who leads in peace the population of Assyria, exalted overseer who heeds the commands of the gods, the resplendent one who acts with the support of Aššur and Šamaš, the gods his allies, and at the beginning of his reign conquered the upper sea and the lower sea, who has no rival among the princes of the four quarters, who indeed has seen remote and rugged regions and trodden upon the mountain peaks in all the highlands; son of Ashurnasirpal (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Tukultī-Ninurta (II), appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur, son of Adad-nārārī (II) who was also appointee of the god Enlil, vice-regent of Aššur:

When Aššur, the great lord, chose me in his steadfast heart and with his holy eyes and named me for the shepherdship of Assyria, he put in my grasp a strong weapon which fells the insubordinate, he crowned me with a lofty crown, and he sternly commanded me to exercise dominion over and to subdue all the lands insubmissive to Aššur. At that time, in my accession year and in my first regnal year, after I nobly ascended the royal throne, I mustered my chariots and troops. I entered the pass of the land Simesi and captured the city Aridu, the fortified city of Ninnu. I erected a tower of heads in front of the city. I burned ten cities in its environs. While I was residing in the same city Aridu, I received tribute of teams of horses from the people of the lands/mountains Ḫargu, Ḫarmasa, Sirišu, Ulmānu, and Simerra.

Moving on from the city Aridu, I smashed out with copper picks rough paths in mighty mountains which rose perpendicularly to the sky like the points of daggers and into which no one among the kings my fathers had ever passed. I moved my chariots and  troops over those paths and approached the city Ḫubuškia. I burned the city Ḫubuškia and all the cities in its environs. Kakia, king of the city Ḫubuškia, and the remainder of his troops became frightened in the face of my weapons and they ascended mountains where they fortified themselves (lit. "they took as a fortress"). I climbed up the mountains after them. I waged mighty war in the mountains and defeated them. I brought back his chariots and troops from the mountains. Overwhelmed by fear of the radiance of Aššur, my lord, they came down and submitted to me. I imposed upon them tribute of teams of horses.

Moving on from the city Ḫubuškia, I approached the city Sugunia, the fortified city of Aramu of the land Urarṭu. I besieged the city, captured it, massacred many of its people, and carried off booty from them. I erected two towers of heads in front of his city. I burned fourteen cities in its environs.

Moving on from the city Sugunia, I went down to the sea of the land Nairi (prob. Lake Urmia). I washed my weapons in the sea and made sacrifices to my gods. At that time I made an image of myself and wrote thereon the praises of Aššur, the great lord, and the prowess of my power. I erected it by the sea. On my return from the sea I approached the city Gilzānu. I received tribute from Asû of the land Gilzānu: teams of horses and camels with two humps. I brought it to my city Aššur.

… In this first year (858 BCE) I took the path to the western sea (the Mediterranean), also called the sea of the land Amurru. On my way I conquered the city La’la’tu, which belonged to Aḫuni, the "son" of Adini (i.e., ruler of Bīt-Adini, a kingdom on the Euphrates River). I received the tribute of Ḫabini of the city Tīl-Abnī, of Ga’una of the city Sarug, and of Giri-Adad of the city Immerina: silver, gold, tin, bronze, cattle, sheep, and wine.

Moving on from the city […] I crossed the Euphrates River, which was in flood. […]

Moving on [from the city] Gurgum (modern Maraş), I approached the city Lutibu (prob. modern Sakçagözu), the [fortified] city of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al. Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, Sapalulme of the land Patin (i.e., the plain of Antioch), [Aḫuni] the "son" of Adini, and Sangara of [the land Carchemish] put their trust in each other and prepared for war. They attacked me to do battle. With the exalted might of the divine standard which goes before me and with the fierce weapons [which] Aššur my lord gave to me, I fought and defeated them. I felled their fighting men with the sword, [rained down] upon them [destruction (lit. "flood")] as the god Adad, piled up their (bodies) in ditches, [filled the extensive] plain with the corpses of their warriors, and with their blood I dyed the mountain red like red wool. I took from them (lit. "him") numerous chariots and teams of horses. I erected a tower of heads in front of his city and [razed, destroyed, and] burned [his cities]. I made a colossal royal statue of myself and wrote [thereon] about my heroic deeds [and victorious actions. I erected (it)] before the source of the Saluara River (the modern Karasu) at the foot of the [Amanus] range.

Moving on from the Amanus range, I crossed the Orontes River and approached the city Alimuš, the fortified city of Sapalulme of the land Patin. To save his life, Sapalulme of the land Patin received into his armed forces Aḫuni the "son" of Adini, Sangara of the land Carchemish, Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, Katê of the land Que (the Cilician plain), Piḫirim of the land Ḫiluka (Taurus Mountains), Bur-Anate of the land Yasbuq, and Adānu of the land Yaḫan. By the command of Aššur, my lord, I scattered their assembled forces. I besieged the city, captured it, and carried off valuable booty from them, namely, numerous chariots and teams of horses. I felled 700 of their fighting men with the sword. In the midst of this battle I captured Bur-Anate of the land Yasbuq. I captured the great cities of Patin. I overwhelmed the cities on the shore of the upper sea of the land Amurru, also called the western sea (the Mediterranean), so that they looked like ruin hills created by the deluge. I received tribute from the kings on the seashore. I marched about by right of victory in the extensive area of the seashore. I made an image of my lordship. […] I approached […] I received tribute from Arame the "son" of Agūsi (i.e., the ruler of Bīt-Agūsi): silver, gold, cattle, sheep, wine, and a gold-and-silver bed.

On the thirteenth day of the month Iyyar, in the eponymy of my own name, I moved out from Nineveh, crossed the Tigris River, traversed Mounts Ḫasamu and Diḫnunu, and approached the city Tīl-Barsip, the fortified city of Aḫuni the "son" of Adini. Trusting in the strength of his troops, Aḫuni the "son" of Adini attacked me. I defeated him and confined him to his city. Moving on from Tīl-Barsip, I crossed the Euphrates, […] I approached […], a city belonging to Aḫuni the "son" of Adini. […] I captured it. I massacred many of its people. […] the plain […] of royalty, his battle equipment, I carried off. […] Moving on from the city […]ra, I approached the city Dabigu. […], the fortified city of Aḫuni the "son" of Adini. I besieged and captured it. I massacred their people and carried off booty from them. I razed and destroyed the city and turned it into a devastated ruin hill.

While I was residing in the same city, Dabigu, I received the tribute of Qalparunda of the city Unqi, of Mutalli of the city Gurgum, of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al, and of Aramu the "son" of Agūsi: silver, gold, tin, bronze, iron, bronze, red-purple wool, elephant ivory, garments with multicolored trim, linen garments, cattle, sheep, wine, and ducks.

Inscription found at Fort Shalmaneser, dated 857 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by A. Kirk Grayson in his Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. II (858–745 B.C.), vol. 3 of the series Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia—Assyrian Periods (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 7–11.

Excerpts from the annals of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria

…Moving on from the city Burmar’ana, I crossed the Euphrates in rafts made of inflated goatskins. I received tribute from Qatazilu of the land Kummuḫ (Commagene): silver, gold, cattle, sheep, and wine. I then approached the city Paqarruḫbuni (and other) cities belonging to Aḫuni the "son" of Adini (i.e., the ruler of Bīt-Adini), which is on the opposite bank of the Euphrates. I defeated his land and laid waste his cities. I filled the wide plain with the corpses (lit. "defeat") of his warriors by felling 1,300 of his combat troops with the sword. Moving on from the city Paqarruḫbuni, I approached the cities of Mutalli of the land Gurgum (modern Maraş). I received tribute from Mutalli of the land Gurgum: silver, gold, cattle, sheep, wine, and his daughter with her rich dowry. Moving on from the city Gurgum, I approached the city Lutibu (prob. modern Sakçagözu), the fortified city of Ḥayyānu of the land Sam’al….

I ascended the Amanus range and cut down beams of cedar and juniper. I marched to Mount Atalur (prob. Kurt Dağ, east of the Amanus range), where the image of Anum-ḫirbe stands, and erected my image with his image….

All of the kings of the land Hatti became afraid in the face of the flash of my strong weapons and my stormy onslaught and submitted to me. I received from Qalparunda of the land Patin three talents of gold, 100 talents of silver, 300 talents of bronze, 300 talents of iron, 1,000 bronze casseroles, 1,000 linen garments with multicolored trim, his daughter with her rich dowry, 20 talents of red purple wool, 500 cattle, and 5,000 sheep. I imposed upon him as annual tribute one talent of silver, two talents of red purple wool, and 100 cedar beams, and I regularly receive it in my city, Aššur. I received from Ḥayyānu the "son" of Gabbār (i.e., ruler of Bīt-Gabbār), which is at the foot of the Amanus range, [N] talents of silver, 90 talents of bronze, 90 talents of iron, 300 linen garments with multicolored trim, 300 cattle, 3,000 sheep, 200 cedar beams, [N] + two  homers of cedar resin, and his daughter with her rich dowry. I imposed upon him as tribute ten minas of silver, 100 cedar beams, and one homer of cedar resin, and I receive it annually in my city, Aššur….

From the Kurkh Monolith, dated 853 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by A. Kirk Grayson in his Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. II (858–745 B.C.), vol. 3 of the series Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia—Assyrian Periods (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), pp. 15–18.

Inscription of Kulamuwa, king of Sam'al

I am Kulamuwa, the son of Ḥayyā. Gabbār ruled over Y’DY, but he achieved nothing. BNH also (ruled over Y’DY), but he achieved nothing. Then my father Ḥayyā, but he achieved nothing. And then my brother Ša’īl, but he achieved nothing. But I am Kulamuwa, son of TML—what I achieved, (my) predecessors had not achieved.

The house of my father was in the midst of mighty kings. Each one stretched forth his hand to fight. But I was in the hand of the kings like a fire consuming the beard and like a fire consuming the hand. The king of the Danunians was more powerful than I, but I engaged against him the king of Assyria. A young woman was given for a sheep and a young man for a garment.

I am Kulamuwa, son of Ḥayyā. I sat upon the throne of my father. During the reigns of the former kings, the muškabīm were living like dogs. But I was to some a father; and to some I was a mother; and to some I was a brother. Whoever had never possessed a sheep, I made a lord of a flock. Whoever had never possessed an ox, I made owner of a herd and owner of silver and lord of gold. Whoever from his childhood had never seen linen, now in my days wore byssos. I took the muškabīm by the hand and they showed (me) affection like the affection of a fatherless child toward (its) mother.

Now, whoever of my descendants (lit. "sons") sits in my place and damages this inscription—may the muškabīm not honor the ba‘rīrīm and may the ba‘rīrīm not honor the muškabīm. And whoever strikes out this inscription, may Baal Ṣemed, (the god) of Bamah, and Rākib-El, the lord of the dynasty (lit. "house"), strike his head.

This inscription is dated ca. 830 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by K. Lawson Younger in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 147–148. This inscription was written in Phoenician, which was not the spoken language of Sam’al but was widely used in this period as a lingua franca. The later inscriptions composed at Sam’al were written in a local Sam’alian dialect or (in the case of the last Barrākib inscription, ca. 720 BCE) in "official" Aramaic, which was the lingua franca of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and succeeding empires, beginning in the eighth century BCE.

Inscription of Panamuwa I, king of Sam'al

I am Panamuwa, son of Qarli, king of Y‘DY, who have erected this statue for Hadad in my eternal abode (burial chamber). The gods Hadad and El and Rašap and Rākib-El and Šamaš supported me. Hadad and El and Rākib-El and Šamaš and Rašap gave the scepter of dominion into my hands. Rašap supported me. So whatever I grasped with my hand […] and whatever I asked from the gods, they granted to me. The devastation(?) they restored. [...] a land of barley [...] a land of wheat and a land of garlic and a land of [...]. Then [...].  And [...]. They cultivated the land and the vineyard. They dwelt there [...].

I, Panamuwa, reigned on the throne of my father. Hadad gave into my hands a scepter of dominion. I cut off war and slander from the house of my father, and in my days also Y‘DY ate and drank. In my days it was commanded throughout all my land to reconstruct ṬYRT and to reconstruct ZRRY and to build the villages of the dominion. Each one took his friend(?). Hadad and El and Rākib-El and Šamaš and ’Arqû-Rašap gave abundance. Greatness was granted to me and a sure covenant was concluded with me. In the days when I gained dominion, a gift-offering(?) was given to the gods; they took the land from my hand. Whatever I asked from the gods of the land, they gave to me. The gods of the land delighted in me, the son of Qarli.

Then Hadad gave the land for my [...]. He singled me out to build and during my dominion, Hadad [...] gave me the land to build. So I have built the land. I have erected this statue of Hadad and have built the place of Panamuwa, son of Qarli, king of Y’DY, with the statue—a burial chamber. Whoever of my sons (descendants) seizes the scepter, and sits on my throne, and maintains power, and sacrifices to this Hadad, [...] an oath(?) and sacrifices this [...] sacrifices to Hadad. Or, on the other hand, [...] then he says: “May the soul (NBŠ) of Panamuwa eat with you and may the soul of Panamuwa drink with you.” May he remember eternally the soul of Panamuwa with Hadad. May he give this his sacrifice to Hadad. May he (i.e., Hadad) look favorably upon it. May it be a tribute for Hadad and for El and for Rākib-El and Šamaš and Rašap.

I am Panamuwa [...] a house for the gods of this city. I built it and I caused the gods to dwell in it. During my reign, I allotted the gods a resting place. And they gave to me a seed of the bosom. [...] whoever of my sons (descendants) seizes the scepter, and sits on my throne, and reigns over Y’DY, and maintains his power, and sacrifices to this Hadad, and does not remember the name of Panamuwa—who does not say: "May the soul of Panamuwa eat with Hadad, and may the soul of Panamuwa drink with Hadad"; then [...] his sacrifice. May he (i.e., Hadad) not look favorably upon it, and whatever he asks, may Hadad not grant him. As for Hadad, may his wrath be poured out on him and may he not give to him to eat because of his rage; and may he withhold sleep from him in the night; and may terror be given to him. And may he not [...] my kinsmen or relatives.

Whoever of my house seizes the scepter in Y’DY and sits on my throne and reigns in my place, may he not stretch his hand with the sword against anyone(?) of my house, either out of anger or out of violence. May he not do murder, either out of wrath or out of [...]. And may no one be put to death, either by his bow or by his word or by his command.

But should (the future king’s) kinsman plot the destruction of one of his kinsmen or one of his relatives or one of his kinswomen, or should any member of my house plot destruction, then may (the king) assemble his male relatives and may he stand (the accused plotter) in the middle. Indeed, (the aggrieved victim of the plot) will pronounce his oath: "Your brother has caused my destruction!" If (the accused) denies it and (the aggrieved) lifts up his hands to the god of his father and says on his oath: "If I have put these words in the mouth of a stranger, say that my eyes are fixed or fearful, or that I have put my words in the mouth of enemies!"—then if (the accused) is male, may his male relatives be assembled and may they pound him with stones; and if (the accused) is female, then may her kinswomen be assembled and may they pound her with stones.

But if indeed ruin has struck him (a royal kinsman?) himself, then should your (i.e., the future king’s) eyes be weary of him on account of his bow or his power or his words or his instigation, then you [...] his right [...]. But if you slay him in violence or in anger, or you issue a decree against him, or you incite a stranger to slay him, may the gods […] slay [...]

This inscription was engraved on a large statue of the storm-god Hadad, dated ca. 750 BCE, and was written in a local Sam’alian dialect. Translation (slightly modified) by K. Lawson Younger in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 156–158.

Inscription of Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria

The kings of the land of Hatti, (and of) the Arameans of the western seashore, the Qedarites (and) the Arabs: Kuštašpi of Kummuh (Commagene), Rezin of Damascus, Menahem of Samaria, Tuba’il (Itto-ba‘al) of Tyre, Sibitba’il (Šipṭi-Ba‘al) of Byblos, Urik (Awariku) of Que (Cilicia), Sulumal of Melid (modern Malatya), Uassurme of Tabal, Ušhiti of Atuna, Urballa of Tuhana, Tuhame of Ištundi, Uirimi of Hubišna, Dadi-il of Kaska, Pisiris of Carchemish, Panammu (Panamuwa) of [Sa]m’al, Tarhularu of [Gur]gum (modern Maraş), Zabibe, queen of the Arabs—tribute of silver, gold, tin, iron, elephant hide, ivory, blue-purple and red-purple garments, multicolored linen garments, dromedaries, she-camels I imposed on them. And as for Iranzu of Mannea, Dalta of Ellipi, the city rulers of Namri, of Singibutu (and) of all the eastern mountains—horses, mules, Bactrian camels, cattle (and) sheep I imposed upon them (as tribute) to be received annually in Assyria. I had a stele made in the vicinity of the mountain, (and) depicted on it (the symbols of) the great gods, my lords, (and) my own royal image I engraved upon it. The mighty deeds of Aššur, my lord, and [my] personal achievements, which were performed throughout all the lands, I w[rote] upon it; [at] the border, which is on […

From the Iran Stele III A, dated 737 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by Hayim Tadmor in The Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, King of Assyria: Critical Edition, with Introductions, Translation and Commentary (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994), pp. 107–109.

Inscription of Katumuwa, servant of Panamuwa II of Sam'al

I am KTMW, servant of Panamuwa, who commissioned for myself (this) stele while still living. I placed it in an eternal chamber and established a feast (at) this chamber: a bull for Hadad Qarpatalli, a ram for NGD/R ṢWD/RN, a ram for Šamš, a ram for Hadad of the Vineyards, a ram for Kubaba, and a ram for my "soul" (NBŠ) that (will be) in this stele. Henceforth, whoever of my sons or of the sons of anybody (else) should come into possession of this chamber, let him take from the best (produce) of this vine(yard) (as) a (presentation)-offering year by year. He is also to perform the slaughter (prescribed above) in (proximity to) my "soul" and is to apportion for me a leg-cut.

This inscription was discovered at Zincirli by the Neubauer Expedition in July 2008 and is dated to ca. 735 BCE. It was published by Dennis Pardee in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 356 (2009): 51–71. The translation presented above is a slightly revised version by Pardee that will appear in The Context of Scripture, vol. 4. The vocalization of KTMW's name is uncertain but "Katumuwa" has been proposed by K. L. Younger (2011) as the most likely reading, based on Luwian parallels. The archaeological context of the inscription and the iconography of the stele on which the inscription was engraved indicate that the Panamuwa whom Katumuwa served was Panamuwa II, who reigned in Sam'al from ca. 740 until his death in battle at Damascus in 733/32 BCE, rather than the earlier king Panamuwa I. This inscription was written in a local Sam’alian dialect that shows Aramaic influence.

Inscription of Barrākib, king of Sam'al, concerning his father Panamuwa II

This statue Barrākib has set up for his father, for Panamuwa, the son of Barṣūr, the king of Y’DY, in the year [of his death(?)]. My father, Panamuwa—because of the loyalty of his father, the gods of Y’DY delivered him from the destruction which was in the house of his father. The god Hadad stood with him. [...] his throne against [...]. […] destroyed(?) [...] in the house of his father. He (i.e., the destroyer) killed his (i.e., Panamuwa’s) father Barṣūr; and he killed seventy brothers (kinsmen) of his father. But my father (i.e., Panamuwa) mounted a chariot […] and [...] lord [...]. He pierced [...] Panamuwa(?). And with the rest of it he indeed filled the prisons. He made ruined cities more numerous than inhabited cities. And it gave(?) Panamuwa, son of Qarli, (and he spoke): "If you cause bloodshed in my house, and you also kill one of my sons, then I also will make bloodshed in the land of Y’DY." Then [...] Panamuwa, son of Qarli […]. My father Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr, [...] ewe and cow and wheat and barley. And a parīs stood at a shekel; and a STRB-(measure) of onions/wine at a shekel; and two-thirds of a mina of oil at a shekel.

Then my father, Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr, brought a gift to the king of Assyria, who made him king over the house of his father. He killed(?) the stone of destruction from the house of his father and […] away from the treasuries of houses of the land of Y’DY from [...]. He opened the prisons and released the captives of Y’DY. So my father arose, and released the women in [...]. [...] the house of the women who had died, and he buried(?) them(?) in […]. He […] the house of his father and he made it better than before. It abounded with wheat and barley and ewe and cow in his days. And then the land ate and drank […]. The price was cheap.

In the days of my father Panamuwa, he truly appointed lords of villages and lords of chariots. My father Panamuwa was esteemed in the midst of mighty kings from the east to the west. [...] my father surely possessed silver; and surely he possessed gold. On account of his wisdom and because of his loyalty, he seized the robe of his lord, the mighty king of Assyria. [...] of Assyria. Then he lived and Y’DY also lived. His lord, the king of Assyria, placed him over powerful kings [...]. He ran at the wheel of his lord, Tiglath-pileser (III), king of Assyria, in campaigns from the east to the west and from the north to the south, over the four quarters of the earth. The population of the east he brought to the west; and the population of the west he brought to the east. My father profited more than all other mighty kings. To his territory his lord Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, added cities from the territory of Gurgum and […]. My father Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr […]                                 

My father, Panamuwa, died while following his lord, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, in the campaigns. Even his lord, Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, wept for him; and his brother kings wept for him; and all of the camp of his lord, the king of Assyria, wept for him. His lord, the king of Assyria, took [...] "may his soul eat and drink." He set up for him a memorial in the way and he brought my father from Damascus to Assyria. In my days [...]. And the whole house wept for him.

I am Barrākib, son of Panamuwa. Because of the loyalty of my father and because of my loyalty, my lord Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, has caused me to reign on the throne of my father, Panamuwa, son of Barṣūr. [...]. [...]. [...] the king [...]. And […] before the tomb of my father, Panamuwa. This memorial is it. Thus may Hadad and El and Rākib-El, the lord of the dynasty (lit. "house"), and Šamaš and all the gods of Y’DY have favor on me, the son of Panamuwa. And may Rākib-El show favor to me before gods and before men.

This inscription, dated ca. 730 BCE, was written in a local Sam’alian dialect. Translation (slightly modified) by K. Lawson Younger in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 158–160.

Inscription of Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria

…] … I set on fire. [Samsi (or: and she) was startled by my mighty weapons; camels, she-camels with their young she brought to As]syria to my presence. [An inspector ov]er her I insta[lled and 10,000 soldiers…]

[The tribes of Mas]a, Tema, Saba, Hayappa, Badanu, [Hatte, Idiba’ilu, … who dwell on the border of the western lands,] of whom no one (of my ancestors) knew and whose place is far away, fame of my majesty [(and of) my heroic deeds they heard and made supplication to my lordship.] [Gold, silver,] camels, she-camels, all kinds of spices, their tribute as one [they brought] be[fore me and kissed my feet.] I appointed [Idi]bi’ilu as the "Gatekeeper" facing Egypt. In all the (foreign) lands that […

[The tribute of] Kuštašpi of Kummuh (Commagene), Urik (Awariku) of Que (Cilicia), Sibittibi’il (Šipṭi-Ba‘al) of [Byblos, Hiram of Tyre, Pisiris of Carchemish, Eni]-il of Hamath, Panammu (Panamuwa) of Sam’al, Tarhulara of Gurgum (modern Maraş), Sulu[mal of Melid (modern Malatya), Dadi-ilu of Kaska, U]assurme of Tabal, Ušhitti of Tuna, Urballa of Tuhana, Tuham[mi of Ištunda, Urimmi of Hubišna, Ma]tanbi’il of Arvad, Sanipu of Ammon, Salamanu of Moab, [… … Mi]tinti of Ashkelon, Jehoahaz of Judah, Qaušmalak of Edom, Muṣ… [...of … …] (and) Hanunu of Gaza: gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, multicolored garments, linen garments, the garments of the lands, wool (dyed) red-purple, [all kinds of] costly articles, produce of the sea (and) dry land, the commodities of their countries, royal treasures, horses (and) mules broken to the yo[ke … I received.]

Uassurme of Tabal acted as if he were the equal of Assyria and did not appear before me. A eunuch of mine, the Chief-[Eunuch, … I sent to Tabal … H]ulli, a commoner (lit. "son of nobody"), I placed on his throne. Ten talents of gold, 1,000 talents of silver, 2,000 horses, [… mules as his tribute I received.]

I sent a eunuch of mine, the Chief Eunuch, to Tyre. From Metenna of Tyre, 150 talents of gold (and) [2,000 talents of silver his tribute I received.]

With keen understanding and broad knowledge, which the prince Nudimmud, the most expert of the gods, bestowed upon me, a cedar palace [… for my royal residence] and a bīt hilāni, modeled after a palace of the land of Hatti, I built for my pleasure in Calah. [To a length of x cubits and a wide of 6 cubits I expanded its size over and above (the palaces) of my ancestors (by filling up) the Tigris River […] I cleverly made plans with the help of all the skilled craftsmen […]. I piled up heavy limestone boulders like a mountain, to a depth of 20 cubits in the raging waters, and I [… arresting] the flood. I built the terraces, laid the foundations firmly and raised them high. To a height of 6 2/3 cubits, palaces of [… I] constructed, and I set up their gates facing north. With ivory, ebony, boxwood, sissoo wood, cypress wood, In[dian wood … and] juniper—the tribute of the kings of the land of Hatti and the Aramean and Chaldean princes, whom I subdued with mighty courage—[I decorated them] (and) filled (them) with splendor. To a height of 5 1/2 ninda (+) 4 cubits (= 70 cubits), from the riverbed to the cornice, I designed their structure, and I made them more resplendent than the palaces of (foreign) lands. With long beams of cedar, a product of the Am[anus], Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon, which are as sweet to smell as the scent of hašurru wood, I roofed them, demonstrating appropriate care. To exhibit the splendor of […] I fashioned stones, expertly cut, and (thus) made the gate befitting (a royal palace). Double doors of cedar and pine, which bestow (great) pleasure on those who enter them (and) whose fragrance wafts into the heart, I overlaid with strips of shining silver alloy and <gold alloy> and set them up in the gateways. Lion colossi and bull colossi with very skillfully wrought features, clothed with splendor, I placed in the entrance and set up for display. At their feet I laid threshold-slabs of gypsum and alabaster, and so I brightened the exits. And I fashioned statues, the guardians of the great gods, creatures of the deep (i.e., fish-men), and placed them around the supporting wall, thus endowing (it) with splendor. To put the final touch on them (i.e., the new palaces), I studded them all around with knobbed pegs of gold, silver, and bronze, giving them a gleaming appearance. For my royal residence, I constructed (within it) a glittering chamber inlaid with precious stones. I named them: "(The) Palaces-of-Joy, Which-Bear-Abundance-Which-Bless-the-King, Who-Made-Their-Structure-Everlasting." I named their gates: "Gates-of-Justice-Which-Give-the-Correct-Judgment-for-the-Rulers-of-the-Four-Quarters (i.e., the world), Which-Offer-the-Yield-of-the-Mountains-and-the-Seas, Which-Admit-the-Produce-of-Mankind-Before-the-King-Their-Master."

Calah Summary No. 7 (reverse), dated 729 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by Hayim Tadmor in The Inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, King of Assyria: Critical Edition, with Introductions, Translation and Commentary (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994), pp. 169–175. Of particular interest is the reference to the construction of a bīt hilāni palace "modeled after a palace of the land of Hatti" (i.e., North Syria). The site of Zincirli has produced some of the best examples of this type of palace, which featured a pillared portico and made extensive use of long timber beams obtained from the nearby Amanus Mountains.

Inscription of Barrākib, king of Sam’al

I am Barrākib, son of Panamuwa, king of Sam’al, the servant of Tiglath-pileser (III), lord of the four quarters of the earth. On account of the loyalty of my father and on account of my loyalty, my lord, Rākib-El, and my lord, Tiglath-pileser, caused me to reign upon the throne of my father. The house (i.e., kingdom) of my father profited, more than all others. I ran at the wheel of my lord, the king of Assyria, in the midst of powerful kings, lords of silver and lords of gold. I took control of the house of my father. I made it better than the house of any powerful king. My brother kings were desirous for all that is the good of my house. But there was not a good palace (lit. "house") for my fathers, the kings of Sam’al. They had the palace of Kulamuwa—it was a winter palace for them and it was a summer palace too. But I built this palace!

This inscription is dated ca. 720 BCE. Translation (slightly modified) by K. Lawson Younger in The Context of Scripture, vol. 2 (ed. W. W. Hallo and K. L. Younger; Leiden: Brill, 2003), pp. 160–161. This inscription was written in "official" Aramaic, the lingua franca of the  Neo-Assyrian Empire, and not in a local Sam’alian dialect.

Inscription of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria

The god Aššur, father of the gods, who loves my temple service; the god Anu, powerful leader, who called my name; the god Enlil, lofty lord, who made firm my reign; the god Ea, wise one, knowing one, who decrees my fates; the god Sîn, shining moon, who makes my signs favorable; the god Šamaš, judge of heaven and earth, who provides my decisions; the god Adad, terrifying lord, who makes my troops prosper; the god Marduk, hero of the Igīgū gods and Anunnakū gods, who makes my kingship great; the goddess Ištar, lady of war and battle, who goes at my side; the Sebitti, valiant gods, who devastate my enemies; the great gods, all of them, who decree fate, who give to the king, their grace, victorious might. Esarhaddon, great king, mighty king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of Babylonia, (king of) all of them, king of the kings of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and Kush, the one who re[veres the] great [gods], majestic [dra]gon, [beloved] of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, king of kings, the merciless, who curbs the insolent ones, clothed in splen[dor], fearless in battle, per[fect] warrior, merciless in combat, almighty prince, who holds the nose-rope of kings, raging lion, avenger of (his) father, his begetter, the king, who through the trust of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, the gods, his helpers, has acted correctly and attained his wish. He has broken all of his disobedient, unsubmissive princes like a reed in the swamp and trampled them underfoot. Provider of provisions for the great gods, who kn[ows] reverence for the gods and goddesses.

[…] says […] the temple of the god Aššur, who made perfect its ornaments, builder of Esagil and Babylon, restorer of the rites of the gods of the plundered lands which he returned to their place from the midst of the city Aššur. The king who loves to give his good offerings to the great gods and who carries out his temple service [in the tem]ples forever. Their merciless weapons they gave to his lordship as a gift. The king, [whom] the lord of lords, the god Marduk, made greater than the kings of the four quarters, made his lordship the greatest. The lands, all of them, they caused to bow down to his feet. They fixed tribute and gifts on them. The conqueror of his enemies, the destroyer of his foes. The king whose passage is the deluge and whose deeds are (those of) a raging lion. Before he (comes) it is a city, when he leaves a tell (from) the assault of his fierce battle. (He is) a blazing flame, a restless fire.

Son of Sennacherib, king of the universe, king of Assyria, descendant of Sargon (II), king of the universe, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, royal descendant of the eternal line of Bēl-bāni, son of Adasi, founder of the kingship of Assyria, who[se] origin was in Baltil (Aššur). By command of the gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, the great gods, lords[hip] fell to me. I am mighty, I am almighty, I am lordly, I am proud, I am strong, I am important, I am glorious. Among all of the kings, I have no equal. Favorite of the gods Aššur, Nabû, and Marduk, called by the god Sîn, graced by the god Anu, beloved of the queen, the goddess Ištar, goddess of everything; the merciless weapon which makes the enemy land tremble am I. A king, expert in battle and war, slayer of the peoples of his enemies, killer of his foes, who sweeps away his adversaries; the one who makes the unsubmissive bow down, who rules over all of the people of the universe.

The gods Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk, my lofty lords, whose word cannot be changed, decreed as my fate an unrivaled kingship. The goddess Ištar, the lady who loves my temple service, made my hands grasp a strong bow (and) mighty arrow, the slayer of the disobedient. She enabled me to achieve my wish and she made all the unsubmissive kings bow down to my feet.

When the god Aššur, the great lord, revealed the glorious might of my deeds to the people, he made my name the most glorious and greatest over the kings of the four quarters. He caused my arms to bear a terrible staff to strike the enemy. He empowered me to loot and plunder greater Assyria’s border lands, which had committed sin, crime, or negligence against the god Aššur. Afterward the god Aššur and the great gods, my lords, ordered me to march far along remote roads, (through) rugged mountains and great sand dunes. In good spirits I marched safely through (this) region of thirst.

As for Tarqu, king of Egypt and Kush, accursed of their great divinity, from the city Išḫupri to Memphis, the royal city, a distance of fifteen days overland, I inflicted serious defeats on him daily without cessation, and he himself I afflicted with five arrow wounds from which there is no recovery.The city of Memphis, his royal city, I besieged and conquered within half a day by means of mines, breaches, and ladders. I demolished it (and) burned it in fire. His wife, his court ladies, Ušanaḫuru, his crown prince, and the rest of his sons and his daughters, his goods, his possessions, his horses, his oxen, his sheep and goats, without number I plundered (and brought) to Assyria. From Egypt I tore out the roots of Kush. I did not leave a single person there to (tell of) my glory. Over Egypt, all of it, I appointed kings, governors, commanders, customs officers, trustees (and) overseers again. I fixed sattukku (and) ginû offerings for the god Aššur and the great gods, my lords. I imposed tribute and gifts for my lordship on them, yearly without ceasing.

I had a stele made (with) my written name and I had inscribed upon it the renown (and) heroism of the god Aššur, my lord, the mighty deeds which I had done with the help of the god Aššur, my lord, and the victory (and) booty. I set it up for all time to astonish all the enemies.

Whoever takes away this stele from its place and erases my written name and writes his name, or covers (it) with dirt, or throws (it) in the water, or burns (it) in fire, or puts (it) in a place where it cannot be seen, may the goddess Ištar, lady of war and battle, change his manhood into a woman, and may she seat him, bound, beneath his enemy. May a future prince look upon my stele (with) my written name, may he read its surface, may he anoint it with oil, may he make a sacrifice, (and) may he praise the name of the god Aššur, my lord.

Cuneiform inscription on a stele found at Zincirli and dated to 670 BCE. Translation by Erle V. Leichty in his Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680–669 B.C.), vol. 4 of the series Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) edited by Grant Frame (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2011).