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The Middle Assyrian period

By the last third of the 2nd millennium Assyria gained political strength in the Fertile Crescent and started a policy of vast expansions into other territories. Most notably in this period is the campaign of the Middle Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I (1243-1207 BC) towards Babylonia, which is reflected upon in an epic. In this text the ruler claims that he brought to Assyria Babylonian scribal lore. The religious and political center of this period was Assur. Although the archaeological context of many of the artifacts is disturbed due to the city's destruction by invading Medes at the end of the 7th century BC, quite a few particularly well-preserved tablets with copies of lexical texts came down to us. These tablets, frequently considered library texts, provide a representative, but certainly incomplete picture of the lexical tradition in the Middle Assyrian period. The problems with understanding the use of these texts are not only due to the destruction of the city, but also to the fact that in the Neo-Assyrian period scholarly texts have been selected by the scholars and officials of king Ashurbanipal and transferred to the new capital Niniveh in order to be included in his library. An example for this transfer is the large god-list K 4349 (CT 24, 20-46), which was copied "according to an old large-tablet" (ina pî dubgallî labīri) by the Middle Assyrian scribe Kidin-Sîn, son of Suti'u. While his copy might have been selected not only because of its content, but also based on its quality and size, another text by this scribe was not selected for the transfer. VAT 9307 was certainly archived at the same location as the afore-mentioned god-list.

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the_middle_assyrian_period.1461087838.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/04/19 18:43 by wagensonner
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