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    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##

    Sam'al

    Siss

    Kundu

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    @ 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

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    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