Songs of Ancient Mesopotamia - The Sennacherib Prism
The Sennacherib Prism
In my third campaign I marched against Hatti.
Luli, king of Sidon, whom the terror-inspiring
glamor of my lordship had overwhelmed,
fled far overseas and perished.
The awe-inspiring splendor of the "Weapon" of Ashur,
my lord, overwhelmed his strong cities (such as)
Great Sidon, Little Sidon, Bit-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahal liba,
Ushu, Akzib, Akko, (all) his fortress- cities,
walled and well provided with feed
and water for his garrisons, and they bowed in
submission to my feet. I installed Ethba'al (1a)
upon the throne to be their king and imposed
upon him tribute due to me as his overlord
to be paid annually without interruption.
As to all the kings of the Amurru and Menahem
from Samsimuruna, Tuba'lu from Sidon,
Abdili'ti from Arvad, Urumilki from Byblos,
Mitinti from Ashdod, Buduili from Beth-Ammon,
Kammusunadbi from Moab and Aiarammu from Edom,
they brought sumptuous gifts (1b)
and fourfold their heavy tamartu-presents to me
and kissed my feet.
Sidqia, however, king of Ashkelon,
who did not bow to my yoke,
I deported and sent to Assyria, his family gods,
himself, his wife, his children, his brothers,
all the male descendants of his family.
I set Sharruludari, son of Rukibtu, their former king,
over the inhabitants of Ashkelon
and imposed upon him the payment of tribute
and of katru - presents due to me as overlord
and he now pulls the straps of my yoke !
In the continuation of my campaign I besieged
Beth Dagon, Joppa, Banai-Barqa, Azuru,
cities belonging to Sidqia who did not bow to my feet
quickly enough; I conquered them and
carried their spoils away.
The officials, the patricians and the common people of
Ekron, who had thrown Padi, their king, into fetters
because he was loyal to his solemn oath
sworn by the god Ashur, and had handed
him over to Hezekiah, the Jew
and he Hezekiah held him
in prison, unlawfully, as if he (Padi) be an
enemy had become afraid and had called (for
help) upon the kings of Egypt (Mu,s(u)ri) (and)
the bowmen, the chariots and the cavalry
of the king of Ethiopia (1c)
an army beyond counting
and they actually had come to their assistance.
In the plain of Eltekeh their battle lines were drawn up
against me and they sharpened their weapons.
Upon a trust-inspiring oracle, given by Ashur,
my lord, I fought with them
and inflicted a great defeat upon them.
In the melee of the battle, I personally captured alive
the Egyptian charioteers with their princes and
the charioteers of the king of Ethiopia.
I besieged Eltekeh (and) Timnah,
conquered them and carried their spoils away.
I assaulted Ekron and killed the officials and
patricians who had committed the crime and hung
their bodies on poles surrounding the city.
The common citizens who were guilty of minor
crimes, I considered prisoners of war.
The rest of them, those who were not of crimes
and misbehavior, I released.
I made Padi, their king, come from Jerusalem (1d)
and set him as their lord on the throne,
imposing upon him the tribute due to me as overlord.
As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit
to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities,
walled forts and to the countless small villages
in their vicinity, and conquered them
by means of well-stamped earth-ramps
and battering-rams brought near to the walls
combined with the attack by foot soldiers,
using mines, breeches as well as sapper work.
I drove out of them 200.150 people, young and old,
male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels,
big and small cattle beyond counting,
and considered them booty.
Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem,
his royal residence, like a bird in a cage.
I surrounded him with earthwork in order to
molest those who were in his city's gate.
His towns which I had plundered,
I took away from his country and gave them over
to Mitinti,king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron,
and Sillibel, king of Gaza.
Thus I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute
and the katru -presents due to me as his overlord
which I imposed later upon him beyond the former tribute,
to be delivered annually.
Hezekiah himself, whom the terror-inspiring
splendor of my lordship had overwhelmed
and whose irregular and elite troops
which he had brought into Jerusalem,
his royal residence, in order to strengthen it,
had deserted him, did send me later,
to Nineveh, my lordly city,
together with 30 talents of gold,
800 talents of silver, precious stones, antimony,
large cuts of red stone, couches inlaid with ivory,
nimedu-chairs inlaid with ivory,
elephant-hides, ebony-wood, boxwood
and all kinds of valuable treasures,
his own daughters, concubines,
male and female musicians.
In order to deliver the tribute
to do obeisance as a slave
he sent his personal messenger.