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  • 8/12/2019 Assyrian Propaganda for the West


  • 8/12/2019 Assyrian Propaganda for the West


    Assyrian Propaganda for the West

    Esarhaddon's Steles for Til Barsip and Sam'al

    Soon after his successful campaign to Egypt in the year 671 B.C., King

    Esarhaddon of Assyria (61!66" B.C.# commissioned three large stone

    steles,1each $ith a car%ing on its face sho$ing the &ing raising an em'lem

    of royal po$er in one hand $hile t$o small capti%es (the re'ellious &ing

    A'di!il&utti of Sidon, captured in 677, and the cro$n prince of Egypt,

    captured in the recent Egyptian campaign# stand or &neel at his feet ()ls.

    1*, 17, and +#. n the sides of each stele are images of the t$o sons Esar!

    haddon had recently appointed as his heirs to the thrones of Assyria and

    Ba'ylonia ()ls. 16, 1 and +"#.2

    -he three steles $ere erected in t$o north$estern pro%incial capitals of

    the Assyrian empire, t$o of them in -il Barsip, a long!esta'lished pro%in!

    cial capital on the upper Euphrates, and the third in Samal, a $estern %assal

    city that had 'ecome a pro%incial capital under direct Assyrian rule not

    long 'efore Esarhaddons reign.

    /n 'oth cities the steles $ere erected on high stone pedestals and promi!

    nently displayed. -he stele at Samal $as erected in the gate leading to the

    citadel, a traditional setting for pu'lic monuments in $estern cities. 0At -il

    Barsip one stele $as erected ust inside the eastern city gate, $hile the sec!

    1 / am inde'ted to many institutions and indi%iduals for supporting my research on thisproect2 -he American )hilosophical Society3 the 4ar%ard Semitic useum3 5r. E%elyn

    Klengel!Brandt and the orderasiatisches useum of Berlin3 )rof. 5r. Sultan ehesen,5irector eneral of Anti8uities and useums, Syrian Ara' 9epu'lic3 r. :ahid Kha!yata and the ;ational useum of Aleppo3 r. An$ar A'del hafour, photographer forthe Aleppo useum3 5r. ichael )orter and the Cartographic 5i%ision of the CascoBay Assyriological /nstitute2 and a'o%e all, )rofs. uy Bunnens and Arlette 9oo'aertand the mem'ers of the -ell Ahmar team, for their generous hospitality and patient help./ am grateful to them all. /deology and)ropaganda in Assyrian Art,> in . -. ?arsen, ed., Power and Propaganda(Copenha!gen2 A&ademis& ;eo!Assyrian Court and Army2 E%idence of the Sculptures,>Iraq0@ (1"7+#, p. "0 and idem,s.%. >KronprinD,>RLA 6, pp. +@"!*.

    0 5. ssish&in, >-he Erection of 9oyal onuments in City!ates,> Anatolia and the An-cient Near ast! St"dies in #onor of Tahsin $%g&c , K. Emre, B. 4rouda, . ellin&,ed. (An&ara2 -Fr& -urih Kurumu Basime%i, 1""#, pp. @*!@"+.

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A /deology and )ropaganda,> p. 0@+3 =. . 9ussell, s.%. >-il

    Barsip,> ro%e)ictionary of Art, =. -urner, ed. (;e$ or&2 ro%e, 1""6#, pp. 70!7@3and =. BHr&er!KlIhn, Alt'orderasiatische Bildstelen "nd *ergleichbare +elsreliefs(ainD am 9hein2 )hilipp %on Ja'ern, 1"+#, /, pp. +1+!+10 and //, figs. +17!+1" ($honotes differences of style and %isual detail 'et$een the steles 'ut treats the scenes as es!sentially duplicates of one another#.

    Figure 3 The Northwest orner of the Assyrian Empire! "a# $%& B##




  • 8/12/2019 Assyrian Propaganda for the West


    @ ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A )ropaganda,> The International ncyclopedia of the Social Sciences25. ?. Sills, ed.(;e$ or&2 acmillan and free> eGchange of ideas, $hile theeffort to offer a spectrum of ideas, rather than a single prefa'ricated argument, distin!guishes education from the promulgation of propaganda. 4e comments in passing thatalthough the term propaganda $as coined in 16++ A.5. as part of the title of the Collegeof )ropaganda, founded to super%ise missionary acti%ity of the 9oman Catholic Church,the phenomenon itself 'egan in the $est $ith the ree&s ca. * B.C. $ith the codifica!tion of rhetoric3 / mean to suggest here that the use of propaganda as Smith defines itdates at least to the time of the Assyrians.

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A ;eo!Assyrian

    and ;eo!Ba'ylonian Empires,> inPropaganda and .omm"nication in ,orld #istory2 I!The Symbolic Instr"ment in arly Times, 4. 5. ?as$ell et al., ed. (4onolulu2 . )ress of4a$aii, 1"#, pp. 111!1@@3 ). arelli, >?a )ropagande royale assyrienne,>A33adica+7(1"+#, pp. 16!+"3 . ?i%erani, >-he /deology of the Assyrian Empire,> in ?arsen,

    Power and Propaganda, pp. +"7!013 idem, >+@2 Ancient )ropaganda and 4istoricalCriticism> in The St"dy of the Ancient Near ast in the Twenty-+irst .ent"ry, =. S. Coo!

    per and 9. . Sch$artD, ed. (:inona ?a&e, /nd.2 Eisen'rauns, 1""6#, pp. +0!"3 and ).achinist, >Assyria and /ts /mage in the 4A5S10 (1"0#, pp. 71"!073 andfor ideology and propaganda in Assyrian %isual imagery, / .=. :inter, >9oyal 9hetoricand the 5e%elopment of 4istorical ;arrati%e in ;eo!Assyrian 9eliefs,> St"dies in *is"al.omm"nication 7 (1"1#, pp. +!03 idem, >-he )rogram of the -hroneroom ofAssurnasirpal //,>ssays on Near astern Art and Archaeology in #onor of .harles

    (yrle ,il3inson, ). . 4arper and 4. )ittman, ed. (;e$ or&2 etropolitan useum ofArt, 1"0#, pp. 1*!01, and =. E. 9eade, >/deology and )ropaganda,> in ?arsen, Powerand Propaganda, pp. 0+"!@0. See also /. =. :inter, >Art as E%idence for /nteraction29elations 'et$een the Assyrian Empire and ;orth Syria,> in esopotamien "nd seine

    Nachbarn, 4. =. ;issen and =. 9enger, ed. (Berlin2 5ietrich 9eimer, 1"+#, n. 1, $honotes that Assyrian royal monuments, and the Samal stele in particular, >could also con!sciously address a :estern audience.>

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    6 ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A -he ;eo!4ittite States in Syria and Anatolia,> .ambridge Ancient #istory////, =. Boardman etal., ed., +nd ed. (Cam'ridge2 Cam'ridge ni%ersity )ress, 1"+#, pp. 07+!@@13 4. Sader,

    Les tats arame6ns de Syrie(Beirut2 rient!/nstitut der 5eutschen orgenlIndischenesellschaft, 1"7#3 and ).!E. 5ion,Les Aram6ens 7 l8ge d" fer! #istoire politiq"e et

    str"ct"res sociales2Etudes Bi'li8ues, n.s. 0@ ()aris2 ?i'rairie ?e Coffre, 1""7#.11 ost of the Assyrian and nati%e teGts for reconstructing the citys history are con%en!

    iently collected and translated (as a $hole or as eGcerpts# in Sader, Les tats arame6ns2pp. **!77. AssyrianEponyms, Kings and )retenders, 6@!6* BC,> 5rientalia67 M1""N, pp. +*6!*7#.

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A :all )aint!ings from -il Barsip,>Af5+"!0 (1"0!@#, pp. 60!7@. Shalmaneser pro'a'ly used the

    palace of the citys pre%ious rulers initially, and Bunnens notes (in pri%ate correspon!dence# that the Assyrian palace eGca%ated 'y the Iraq* (1""6#, pp. 7"!7.

    1* . Bunnens, Assyria /001, p. 13 for his summary of the current eGca%ations $ith fur!ther 'i'liography, pp. 17!+.

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A a near'y pro%!

    ince#, attest to the continuing presence of $esterners in the city. Se%eral

    names cited in the teGts include the theophoric element >Adad> or >4adad,>

    the name of an important $eather god in the $est, and one names the moon

    god SPn, $orshipped in Assyria 'ut also the focus of an important cult in

    the near'y city of 4arran, suggesting that the religious ties of the citysresidents $ere also to some eGtent still influenced 'y $estern practice. A

    similar presence of Aramean names, $estern theophoric elements in names,

    and legal teGts $ritten in Aramaic is e%ident in the much larger collection

    of clay ta'lets some 10 altogether no$ disco%ered in ;eo!Assyrian

    le%els at the neigh'oring site of -ell Shiu&h

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A Immigration and migration within the Ancient Near ast! +estschrift

    C LipiDs3i, K. %an ?er'erghe and A. Schoors, ed. (?eu%en2 itge%eri )eeters en 5e!partement riQntalistie&, 1""*#, pp. +!+7. -he teGts from -il Barsip are pu'lished anddiscussed in Abr-Nahrain 0@ (1""6!"7#.

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    1 ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A

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    ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A

  • 8/12/2019 Assyrian Propaganda for the West


    1+ ASS9/A; )9)AA;5A Ju den JerstHrungen in Jincirli $Ihrend des frFhen 7. =ahrhunderts %.Chr.,> 9itteil"ngen der )e"tschen 5rient-esellschaft 1+6 (1""@#, pp. 1*!1++.?uschans eGca%ation of the gate in $hich the stele $as found lea%es it unclear $hetherthe stele $as erected in the gate 'efore or after the $idespread destruction of 'uildingson the citadel3 the late Assyrian pottery associated $ith the re'uilding $ould permit adate for the re'uilding either in Esarhaddons reign or that of his son. -he destructionand re'uilding of the citadel could thus ha%e occurred after the erection of the stele andthus after Esarhaddons reign, although ?ehmanns hypothesis of destruction in Esarhad!dons time is plausi'le. ne possi'ility is that the city $as ta&en 'y ugallu, $ho $asthe su'ect of t$el%e Assyrian omen in8uiries in8uiring a'out the pro'a'le outcome ofhis 'attles $ith $estern -a'al, his (e%idently successful# siege of the city!state of elid!du (not far north of Samal and lin&ed to it 'y road#, and his proposed diplomatic mar!riage arrangement $ith the Assyrian &ing. Esarhaddon sent troops to 'esiege ugallu ineliddu in the year 67* B.C., according to the Ba'ylonian Chronicles, $hich $ouldma