By October 28, 2008 Read More →

Yahalu Lot, 833-821 BCE

Assyrian calendar years were counted according to eponyms (Akkadian limmu/limu, literally, “circle, turn”) i.e., each year was named after a high-ranking official in the Assyrian administration; the king himself served as eponym at the beginning of his reign. The eponym system is attested from the beginning of Assyrian history in the early second millenium BCE until the fall of Nineveh in 612 BCE. The choice of eponym was evidently determined by the casting of lots (Akkadian puru; Hebrew פור). One such lot has been discovered, that of Yahalu, who was the administrator of the royal household under Shalmaneser III; he served as eponym in the years 833, 824, 821 BCE. In the course of time, a more or less fixed order of eponyms was established.

The Yahalu lot reads-

“O Ashur, great lord! O Adad, great lord! (This is) the lot of Yahalu the chief treasurer of Shalmaneser (III), king of Assyria, the governor of Kipshuni, Qumeni, Mehrani, Uqi, the Cedar Mountain, customs officer. May the harvest of the land of Ashur prosper during his eponymy, his lot; may his lot come up before Ashur and Adad.”

Mordechai Cogan, The Raging Torrent, Carta, Jerusalem, 2008. p.166-167.

Yale Babylonian Collection

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