Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
Library collection: "World's Greatest Literature" Obelisk of Shalmaneser III Published work: "Babylonian and Assyrian Literature" Translator: Rev. A. H. Sayce, M.A. Publisher: P. F. Collier & Son, New York Copyright: Colonial Press, 1901
Notes - (Page 238)
This inscription is engraved on an obelisk of black marble, five feet in height, found by Mr. Layard in the centre of the Mound at Nimroud, and now in the British Museum. Each of its four sides is divided into five compartments of sculpture representing the tribute brought to the Assyrian King by vassal princes, Jehu of Israel being among the number.
Shalmaneser, whose annals and conquests are recorded upon it, was the son of Assur-natsir-pal, and died in 823 B.C., after a reign of thirty-five years. A translation of the inscription was one of the first achievements of Assyrian decipherment, and was made by Sir. H. Rawlinson; and Dr. Hincks shortly afterward (in 1851) succeeded in reading the name of Jehu in it.
M. Oppert translated the inscription in his "Histoire des Empires de Chaldee et d'Assyrie," and M. Menant has given another rendering of it in his "Annales des Rois d'Assyrie" (1874).
A copy of the text will be found in Layard's "Inscriptions in the Cuneiform Character" (1851). Note: Jehu of Israel is not actually in the text: it is in the Epigraphs accompanying the sculptures as "Yahua son of Khumri". Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (Pages 238-249)
 I crossed. To the land of Kahue I went down. Their cities I captured. Their spoil
 I carried off. In my 21st campaign, for the 21st time the Euphrates I crossed. To the cities
 of Hazael of Damascus I went. Four of his fortresses I took. The tribute of the Tyrians,
 the Zidonians (and) the Gebalites I received. In my 22d campaign for the 22d time the Euphrates
 I crossed. To the country of Tabalu I went down. In those days (as regards) the 24
 Kings of the country of Tabalu their wealth I received. To conquer
 the mines of silver, of salt and of stone for sculpture I went. In my 23d year
 the Euphrates I crossed. The city of Uetas, his strong city,
 (which belonged) to Lalla of the land of the Milidians I captured. The Kings of the country of Tabalu
 had set out. Their tribute I received. In my 24th year, the lower Zab
 I crossed. The land of Khalimmur I passed through. To the land of Zimru
 I went down. Yan'su King of the Zimri from the face
 of my mighty weapons fled and to save his life
 ascended (the mountains). The cities of 'Sikhisatakh, Bit-Tamul, Bit-Sacci
 (and) Bit-Sedi, his strong cities, I captured. His fighting men I slew.
 His spoil I carried away. The cities I threw down, dug up, (and) with fire burned.
 The rest of them to the mountains ascended. The peaks of the mountains
 I attacked, I captured. Their fighting men I slew. Their spoil (and) their goods
 I caused to be brought down. From the country of Zimru I departed. The tribute of 27 Kings
 of the country of Par'sua I received. From the country of Par'sua I departed. To
 the strongholds of the country of the Amadai, (and) the countries of Arazias (and) Kharkhar I went down.
 The cities of Cua-cinda, Khazzanabi, Ermul,
 (and) Cin-ablila with the cities which were dependent on them I captured. Their fighting men
Face C, base
 I slew. Their spoil I carried away. The cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. An image of my Majesty
 in the country of Kharkhara I set up. Yan'su son of Khaban with his abundant treasures
 his gods, his sons, his daughters, his soldiers in large numbers I carried off. To Assyria I brought (them). In my 25th campaign
 the Euphrates at its flood I crossed. The tribute of the Kings of the Hittites, all of them, I received. The country of Amanus
 I traversed. To the cities of Cati of the country of the Kahuians I descended. The city of Timur, his strong city
 I besieged, I captured. Their fighting men I slew. Its spoil I carried away. The cities to a countless number I threw down, dug up,
 (and) burned with fire. On my return, the city of Muru, the strong city of Arame the son of Agu'si,
 (as) a possession for myself I took. Its entrance-space I marked out. A palace, the seat of my Majesty, in the middle (of it) I founded.
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 In my 26th year for the seventh time the country of the Amanus I traversed. For the fourth time to the cities of Cati
 of the country of the Kahuians I went. The city of Tanacun, the strong city of Tulca I approached. Exceeding fear
 of Assur my Lord overwhelmed him and (when) he had come out my feet he took. His hostages I took. Silver, gold,
 iron, oxen, (and) sheep, (as) his tribute I received. From the city of Tanacun I departed. To the country of Lamena
 I went. The men collected themselves. An inaccessible mountain they occupied. The peak of the mountain I assailed,
 I took. Their fighting men I slew. Their spoil, their oxen, their sheep, from the midst of the mountain I brought down.
 Their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. To the city of Khazzi I went. My feet they took. Silver (and) gold,
 their tribute, I received. Cirri, the brother of Cati to the sovereignty over them
 I set. On my return to the country of Amanus I ascended. Beams of cedar I cut,
 I removed, to my city Assur I brought. In my 27th year the chariots of my armies I mustered. Dayan-Assur
 the Tartan, the Commander of the wide-spreading army, at the head of my army to the country of Armenia I urged,
 I sent. To Bit-Zamani he descended. Into the low ground to the city of Ammas he went down. The river Arzane he crossed.
 'Seduri of the country of the Armenians heard, and to the strength of his numerous host
 he trusted; and to make conflict (and) battle against me he came. With him I fought.
 A destruction of him I made. With the flower of his youth his broad fields I filled. In my 28th year
 when in the city of Calah I was stopping news had been brought (me, that) men of the Patinians
 Lubarni their Lord had slain (and) 'Surri (who was) not heir to the throne to the kingdom had raised.
 Dayan-Assur the Tartan, the Commander of the widespreading army at the head of my host (and) my camp
 I urged, I sent. The Euphrates in its flood he crossed. In the city of Cinalua his royal city
 a slaughter he made. (As for) 'Surri the usurper, exceeding fear of Assur my Lord
 overwhelmed him, and the death of his destiny he went. The men of the country of the Patinians from before the sight of my mighty weapons
Face D, base
 fled, and the children of 'Surri together with the soldiers, the rebels, (whom) they had taken they delivered to me.
 Those soldiers on stakes I fixed. 'Sa'situr of the country of Uzza my feet took. To the kingdom
 over them I placed (him). Silver, gold, lead, bronze, iron, (and) the horns of wild bulls to a countless number I received.
 An image of my Majesty of great size I made. In the city of Cinalua his royal city in the temple of his gods I set it up. In
 my 29th year (my) army (and) camp I urged, I sent. To the country of Cirkhi I ascended. Their cities I threw down,
 dug up, (and) burned with fire. Their country like a thunderstorm I swept. Exceeding
 fear over them I cast. In my 30th year when in the city of Calah I was stopping, Dayan-Assur
 the Tartan, the Commander of the wide-spreading army at the head of my army I urged, I sent. The river Zab
 he crossed. To the midst of the cities of the city of Khupusca he approached. The tribute of Datana
 of the city of the Khupuscians I received. From the midst of the cities of the Khupuscians
 I departed. To the midst of the cities of Maggubbi of the country of the Madakhirians he approached. The tribute
 I received. From the midst of the cities of the country of the Madakhirians he departed. To the midst of the cities of Udaci
 of the country of the Mannians he approached. Udaci of the country of the Mannians from before the sight of my mighty weapons
 fled, and the city of Zirta, his royal city, he abandoned. To save his life he ascended (the mountains).
 After him I pursued. His oxen, his sheep, his spoil, to a countless amount I brought back. His cities
 I threw down, dug up, (and) burned with fire. From the country of the Mannians he departed. To the cities of Sulu'sunu of the country of Kharru
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 he approached. The city of Mairsuru, his royal city, together with the cities which depended on it he captured. (To) Sulu'sunu
 together with his sons mercy I granted. To his country I restored him. A payment (and) tribute of horses I imposed.
 My yoke upon him I placed. To the city of Surdira he approached. The tribute of Arta-irri
 of the city of the Surdirians I received. To the country of Par'sua I went down. The tribute of the Kings
 of the country of Par'sua I received. (As for) the rest of the country of Par'sua which did not reverence Assur, its cities
 I captured. Their spoil, their plunder to Assyria I brought. In my 31st year, the second time, the cyclical-feast
 of Assur and Rimmon I had inaugurated. At the time while I was stopping in the city of Calah, Dayan-Assur
 the Tartan, the Commander of my wide-spreading army, at the head of my army (and) my camp I urged, I sent.
 To the cities of Data of the country of Khupusca he approached. The tribute I received.
 To the city of Zapparia, a stronghold of the country of Muzatsira, I went. The city of Zapparia together with
 forty-six cities of the city of the Muzatsirians I captured. Up to the borders of the country of the Armenians
 I went. Fifty of their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire. To the country of Guzani I went down. The tribute
 of Upu of the country of the Guzanians, of the country of the Mannians, of the country of the Buririans, of the country of the Kharranians,
 of the country of the Sasganians, of the country of the Andians, (and) of the country of the Kharkhanians, oxen, sheep, (and) horses
 trained to the yoke I received. To the cities of the country of . . . I went down. The city of Perria
 (and) the city of Sitivarya, its strongholds, together with 22 cities which depended upon it, I threw down, dug up
 (and) burned with fire. Exceeding fear over them I cast. To the cities of the Parthians he went.
 The cities of Bustu, Sala-khamanu (and) Cini-khamanu, fortified towns, together with 23 cities
 which depended upon them I captured. Their fighting-men I slew. Their spoil I carried off. To the country of Zimri I went down.
 Exceeding fear of Assur (and) Merodach overwhelmed them. Their cities they abandoned. To
 inaccessible mountains they ascended. Two hundred and fifty of their cities I threw down, dug up (and) burned with fire.
 Into the lowground of Sime'si at the head of the country of Khalman I went down.
The Epigraphs accompanying the sculptures
 The tribute of 'Su'a of the country of the Guzanians: silver, gold, lead, articles of bronze, sceptres for the King's hand, horses (and) camels with double backs: I received.
 The tribute of Yahua son of Khumri: silver, gold, bowls of gold, vessels of gold, goblets of gold, pitchers of gold, lead, sceptres for the King's hand, (and) staves: I received.
 The tribute of the country of Muzri: camels with double backs, an ox of the river 'Saceya, horses, wild asses, elephants, (and) apes: I received.
 The tribute of Merodach-pal-itstsar of the country of the 'Sukhians: silver, gold, pitchers of gold, tusks of the wild bull, staves, antimony, garments of many colors, (and) linen: I received.
 The tribute of Garparunda of the country of the Patinians: silver, gold, lead, bronze, gums, articles of bronze, tusks of wild bulls, (and) ebony: I received.
End of Translation
Copyright (c) 1996 by Bruce J. Butterfield No restrictions are intended for non-profit use