586/587 the K.I.S.S. approach --- no VAT4956, Ptolemy, Josephus needed

by Alleymom 147 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • setfreefinally

    Hi Marjorie,

    Another excellent post. I'm so glad you're here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I will second that. It is really great that there are those here who have taken the time to do the research and get down to the nitty gritty!!!!

  • Alleymom

    Thanks Dansk and setfree!

    Dansk, I just finished reading all 9 pages of the Torn Apart thread and I am moved to tears. I ache for you all. Check your PM.

    I have wanted for many years to be able to help the JW's who come to my door. I've met so many of them, and they all weigh on my heart. We had an elder and his wife spend about an hour and a half with us a few weeks ago, in response to my request for sources that support their date of 607. The two of them were baptized in 1976, and they are very earnest, committed Witnesses. Unlike some who seem to be more interested in the JW culture and in their own standing in the congregation than in real spirituality, these two seem to be True Believers. Jim has mentioned several times that it is just so sad to think that they have spent almost 30 years of their lives this way.

    It's really neat to think that my long-standing fascination with obscure topics of chronology may finally prove to be of use in some small way! Who ever would have thought there'd be so much interest in the neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid kings? <s> ("HA HA!" I say to my eye-rolling son who thinks our interest in arcane subjects is cause for sighing. Other people ARE interested in things like this!)

    I just hope the elder and his wife do come back. But even if they don't, I think they will have a hard time forgetting the things we said. They know that Jim used to be an editor at an archaeology magazine, and they could see our wall of books. They are going to know we weren't just making it up when we said that every single one of the long list of sources they cited for 539 actually believes Jerusalem was destroyed in 586/7 BCE.

    It's got to bother them to find out that their own sources for 539 all reject the WT chronology. They need those scholars or there is no date of 539 for them to start with. If they say those scholars are not trustworthy for 586/7, then the obvious rejoinder is: Why are they trustworthy for one date and not another?


  • Alleymom
    So, too, for Neriglissar, said to be the successor of Evil-merodach, only one strictly historical tablet has come to light, and it is dated in his third year as king.

    I just can't stop thinking about how utterly deceitful that WT article really is. Today I thought of a simpler way of explaining their misleading claim that there is "only one strictly historical tablet" for Neriglissar.

    The K.I.S.S. explanation:

    If you're like me, you probably have a houseful of dated papers: bills, letters, old insurance claims, receipts, vehicle inspection notices, labwork results, doctor's slips, invoices, bank statements, pay stubs, IRS forms, report cards, wedding and baptismal certificates, old birthday cards (ok, maybe not too many of them for exJW's ), etc. etc. I'm a packrat, so my three kids' old school papers alone fill cartons out in the garage. Each one is dated and has the child's name and the name of the teacher. There are many dated papers for every single year Jim and I have been married.

    But, offhand, I can't think of a single document which would qualify as "strictly historical" if, by that term, you mean a history of our family or a formal biography of a particular family member.

    The WT is pulling a fast one in their article. They ignore the fact that there are cuneiform tablets of all genres for the entire neo-Babylonian period. It is precisely the myriad of tablets recording the mundane events of everyday life which confirm the names and lengths of reigns of the various kings. A completely accurate relative chronology (the strip of paper from my fanciful story about the school project) can be constructed from the legal, administrative, economic, and personal texts. And these are originals, dated by the scribe on the day he drew them up. They are not Seleucid-era copies.

    It doesn't matter if there is only one "strictly historical" tablet for Neriglissar (and it goes without saying that no real scholar would use that term in that way so as to exclude the other tablets of other genres; the WT's phrasing deliberately distorts the truth). The "Babylonian Chronicles" (which are the official Histories) and the royal inscriptions comprise just a small, small part of the whole collection of cuneiform texts. There are approximately 50,000 (!) tablets, and they cover each year of each king.

    The WT knows this full well. They stud their articles with references to articles and books which have information about the evidence for the secular chronology, but neither the average JW nor the average householder who accepts a magazine will ever bother to look up the authors who are cited. The elder who came to my house had previously dropped off a packet of information, including a WT article with a long list of scholars who support the 539 date. I photocopied pages from some of those references and showed him the actual books they came from (including the Parker & Dubberstein's seminal Babylonian Chronology). I saw him looking to make sure the photocopy really came from the actual book. Now I wish I had copied them all, since they all support 586/7!

    The 1965 WT article I cited in the second message on page 1 of this thread stands against all the WT's later waffling. Take that one article together with the others I listed, and they are on record as saying each king reigned the correct number of years. If you take that information and count backwards from 539, you will come to 586/7 for Nebuchadnezzar's 18 th /19 th year.

    The later articles and books are masterpieces of carefully-worded deception. Would any honest person have stated there is "only one strictly historical tablet" for Neriglissar without explaining that there are also numerous dated tablets of other genres, and that these do indeed cover the other years of Neriglissar's reign?


  • IslandWoman


    I would like to express my appreciation for your posts on this subject both in this thread and at least one other I have seen.

    Well done!

    Simplicity triumphs once again! :) I hope that your K.I.S.S. method helps some JWs to start questioning, my initial question on this thread reflected my pessimistic attitude regarding the power of truth over the power of religion. I still feel that as long as the Watchtower continues to promulgate it's chronology the majority of JWs will continue to believe it. You have done an excellent job of getting to the heart of the matter with such simplicity that anyone can understand directly, even those who have no interest or knowledge of chronology and maybe even some of the Governing Body? :) I hope so.

    I am sure your posts on this subject will reach Bethel.

    If all truths could be presented as such then for certain religion and many other institutions would change for the better. One of my favorite scriptures is the question posed by Pilate, "What is truth?" On this board there are those who are atheists, theists, agnostics, Christians, evolutionists, creationists etc. I look forward to the day when our personal truths will give way to the simple truths.

    Your K.I.S.S. method shows the beauty and power of direct simplicity.

    Thanks again,


  • cynicus

    It must be the sound of these damned crickets that inhibits us from hearing Scholar's reply...


  • JCanon
    The later articles and books are masterpieces of carefully-worded deception. Would any honest person have stated there is "only one strictly historical tablet" for Neriglissar without explaining that there are also numerous dated tablets of other genres, and that these do indeed cover the other years of Neriglissar's reign?

    My assessment is that you're barking up the wrong tree on this one. The WTS is not contesting the 4-year rule of Evil-Merodach. Generally, when expanding the Neo-Babylonian period by 20 years, which Josephus also does, the 20 years are just added to the reign of Ewil-Merodach's 2 years making it 22 years. I think the WTS would go along with that and may have even published something in that regard.

    They are simply selling that we don't have documents supporting the lengths of all these kings' reigns and without that information one cannot disprove the Bible's chronology which reflects a longer Babylonian period.

    Even though NOW, with the discovery in the VAT495 of double -dating, we know the 568BCE dating is corrupted and false, and "apparently" the 511BCE was the original chronology, which agrees totally with the Bible's (not JWs!) chronology.

    So...depends on how interested you are in the absolute truth regarding the ancient dating.


  • Alleymom
    They are simply selling that we don't have documents supporting the lengths of all these kings' reigns

    Of course we do!

    And that's rather the point of this thread. I have tried to take a K.I.S.S. approach for the benefit of those who are not interested in details involving Ptolemy, astronomical diaries, etc.

    But for those who need to be convinced and/or reassured that the relative chronology is firmly established, I will go into more detail in this post.

    This post contains information and quotes from:

    Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C. - A.D. 75, Brown University Studies, Vol. XIX. Richard A. Parker, Waldo H. Dubberstein, Brown University Press:1956, pp. 12-13. (quotes from 4 th printing, 1971.)

    The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume III, Part 2, second edition, 1991, pp. 242-243.

    Nabonidus and Belshazzar. Raymond Philip Dougherty,Yale University Press: 1929.


    --- There are dated cuneiform tablets for each year of each king of the neo-Babylonian empire.

    --- These tablets are original, contemporary documents, not later Seleucid-era copies.

    --- They are dated by month/day/year of the king.

    --- There are literally tens of thousands of cuneiform texts for the neo-Babylonian era. Tablets have been found from many different cities, from private as well as official archives. These reflect the ordinary details of every day life for the men and women of that time. There are contracts, invoices, deeds of sale, records of taxes and tithes, accounts of herds, marriages, sales of slaves, etc. Think of the wide variety of dated papers you have in your own home, going back many years, and you will have an idea of the kinds of dated tablets that we have for the neo-Babylonian period.

    The tablets showing the day of the month and the name and year of one king are followed by tablets with the name of the new king immediately thereafter, sometimes within days. This provides an unbroken chain linking each of the kings with his successor.

    The Watchtower has cited Raymond Philip Dougherty's Nabonidus and Belshazzar, Yale University Press: 1929. It is interesting to note that Dougherty, in 1929, could already state that the list of kings with their reigns "is based upon more than two thousand dated cuneiform documents. It must therefore be accepted as the ultimate criterion in the determination of Neo-Babylonian chronological questions." (p.10)

    In 1956 Parker and Dubberstein printed a list of cuneiform tablets which give evidence for the beginning and end of each king's reign. The WT both cites and quotes from Parker and Dubberstein's book. They use it to establish their date of 539 B.C.E.

    In the years since Parker and Dubberstein first published their lists of tablets which establish the beginning and end of each king's reign, many additional texts have been published. They all confirm the same regnal years (see excerpts from the 1991 edition of The Cambridge Ancient History, pp. 242-243, quoted at the bottom of this message.)


    --- We know the name of each king.

    --- We have dated cuneiform tablets (contracts, legal documents, bills of sale, invoices, inventories, etc.) for each year of each king.

    --- We have dated cuneiform tablets for the last year of each king, and these are followed by dated tablets for the new king.

    Summary of data from Parker and Dubberstein (see below for further details):

    --- Dates given as: month/day/ year of reign ---P&D have converted the dates and I have included those for ease of comparison. But, remember, the cuneiform documents establish a relative chronology. So the year on the actual tablet is 21 st Nabopolassar, not "605 BCE".

    Nabopolassar: last dated text: V/1/21 = August 8, 605 BCE Nebuchadnezzar: first dated text: VI/12/acc = Sept. 18, 605 BCE

    Nebuchadnezzar: last dated text, from Uruk: VI/26/43 = October 8, 562 BCE
    Amel-Marduk: first dated text, from Sippar: VI/26/acc = October 8, 562 BCE Amel-Marduk: last dated text: V/17/2 = August 7, 560 BCE Neriglissar: first dated text: V/23/acc = August 13, 560 BCE Neriglissar: last dated text: I/2/4 = April 12, 556 BCE Labashi-Marduk: first dated text: I/23/acc = May 3, 556 BCE Labashi-Marduk: last dated text: III/12/acc = June 20, 556 BCE

    Nabonidus: first dated text: II/15/acc = May 25, 556 BCE (see note below)Nabonidus: last dated text: VII/17/17 = October 13, 539 BCE (see note below)

    Babylonian Chronology 626 B.C. - A.D. 75 , Richard A. Parker, Waldo H. Dubberstein, Brown University Press:1956, pp. 12-13.

    Dates are given as Month/Day/Year Month refers to the Babylonian month Acc. = accession year

    A complete list of abbreviations is at the end.

    -------- the following is an excerpt from Parker & Dubberstein:


    Evidence for Beginning of Reign

    VI/l/acc. (Sept. 7, 605), Nebuchadnezzar ascends the throne in Babylon (Chronicle, BM21946. II. 10-11, Wiseman, op. cit. pp. 27 and 69).


    (Sept. 18, 605) (unpub. text NBC 4746, Goetze, op. cit. p. 44). VI/18/acc. (Sept. 24,605), Sippar (unpub. text BM 49524, Wiseman, op. cit., p. 85, note to 1.11).


    . (Oct. 11, 605) (BM 92472 = Strassmaier, Nabuchodonosor, No.2). A collation by Sachs and Wiseman has shown that the text from Sippar (Strassmaier, loc. cit.) thought to be from the 4th month is correctly to be dated VII/-/acc.

    Evidence for End of Reign

    VI/14/43 (Sept. 26, 562)

    , Uruk (Pohl, NBRU I 18).

    VI/21/43 (Oct. 3,562),

    Uruk (unpub. text NCBT 286, Goetze, op. cit. p. 44).

    VI/26/43 (Oct. 8, 562),

    Uruk (Contenau, TCL XII 58).

    The first tablet dated to Amel-Marduk (see below) comes from Sippar( ?) and is dated on the same day as the last tablet of Nebuchadnezzar from Uruk. Accordingly

    Nebuchadnezzar died during the first days of October, 562.


    Evidence for Beginning of Reign

    VI/26/acc. (Oct. 8, 562) , Sippar? (B. T. A. Evetts, Inscriptions of the Reigns of Evil-Merodach, Neriglissar, and Laborosoarchod ["Babylonische Texte" [III] Heft 6 B (Leipzig, 1892)] Evil-Merodach, No.1).


    . (Oct. 31, 562), Babylon (ibid. No.2).

    Evidence for End of Reign

    V/13/2 (Aug. 3, 560), Babylon (unpub. text YBC3692, Goetze, op. cit. p. #).

    V/17/2 (Aug. 7, 560)

    (Clay, BE VIII 1, No.34).

    Since the first text dated to Nergal-shar-usur was written at Babylon six days after the Clay text, the date of Amel-Marduk's death may be fixed between August 7 and August 13, 560.


    Evidence for Beginning of Reign

    V /23 /acc. (Aug. 13, 560), [Babylon ?] (V AS III 40)

    V /27 /acc. (Aug. 17,560),

    Uruk (unpub. text NBC 4584, Goetze, op. cit. p. 44).

    Evidence for End of Reign

    112/4 (Apr. 12, 556),

    Shahrinu (Evetts, op. cit., Neriglissar, Nos. 68 and 69). I ? /6/4 (Apr. 16,556), Uruk (unpub. text YBC 3433, Goetze, op. cit. p. 44).

    Nergal-shar-usur's death occurred in late April or early May, 556.


    Evidence for Beginning of Reign

    I/23/acc. (May 3, 556)

    , Uruk (unpub. text NBC 4534, ibid.)

    II/12/acc. (May 22, 556),

    Sippar ? (Evetts, op. cit., Laborosoarchod, No.2).

    Evidence for End of Reign

    III/9/acc. (June 17, 556)

    (Strassmaier in Actes du huitieme Congres international des orientalistes, tenu en I889 a Stockholm et a Christiania, 2. partie [Leide, 1893] section semitique [B] at end, No.15)

    III/12/acc. (June 20, 556),

    Sippar ? (Evetts, op. cit., Laborosoarchod, No.1).

    Labashi-Marduk seems to have been recognized as king only in May and June, 556,

    and even then possibly not throughout Babylonia (see under NABUNAID). Berossus (frag.14) apud Josephus Against Apion i. 20 states that Labashi- Marduk ruled nine ( ' ennea ) months. If Berossus' own manuscript used a numeral instead of the spelled-out number, confusion between q (9) and , B (2) could easily have arisen; hence the original text may have said 2 months.


    Evidence for Beginning of Reign

    II/15/acc. (May 25, 556)

    , NA.SU.SA.KU.NA (Clay, BE VIII 1, No.39).

    III/l/acc. (June 9, 556),

    Sippar? (V AS VI 65; see Kugler, SSBII 405-8).

    III/18/acc. (June 26, 556),

    Sippar (Strassmaier, Nabonidus, No.1).

    III/23/acc. (July 1,556)

    Uruk (Dougherty, REN, No. 1).3

    III/26/acc. (July 4, 556),

    Sippar (Strassmaier, Nabonidus, No.2).

    Nabunaid must have been a contender for the throne almost from the death of Nergal-shar-usur.

    By the end of June, 556, he was sole ruler of Babylonia.

    Evidence for End of Reign

    VI/3/17 to VI/28/17 (Aug. 31 to Sept. 25, 539)

    , chiefly from Babylon and Sippar (Strassmaier, Nabonidus, Nos. 1046-52).

    VI/6/17 (Sept. 3, 539)

    , Uruk (Contenau, TCL XII 121; line 19 reads VI/6/18, but in line 1 the date is given as VI/6/17; year 18 is impossible, so we assume either a scribal error or an error by Contenau).*

    VI/25/17 (Sept. 22, 539)

    (unpub. text MLC 1011, Goetze, op. cit. p. 44). VII/4?/17 (Sept. 30,539), Larsa (unpub. text YBC 7385, ibid.).

    VII/8/17 (Oct. 4, 539)

    , Uruk (Dougherty, REN, No.189). VII/17/17 (Oct. 13, 539), Uruk (Dougherty, GCCI 1390).

    The Nabunaid Chronicle (last published by Smith, BHT, pp. 98-123 and Pls. XI-XIV) iii 14-18 states that Sippar fell to Persian forces VII/14/17 (Oct. 10, 539), that Babylon fell VII/16/17 (Oct. 12), and that Cyrus entered Babylon VIII/3/17 (Oct. 29). This fixes the end of Nabunaid's reign and the beginning of the reign of Cyrus.

    Interestingly enough, the last tablet dated to Nabunaid from Uruk is dated the day after Babylon fell to Cyrus. News of its capture had not yet reached the southern city some 125 miles distant. Strassmaier , Nabonidus, No.1054, has the date VIII/10/17; but the month sign is shaded, and in view of known facts this date cannot be accepted.

    --------------- end quotation from Parker and Dubberstein ---------

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS (used in Parker and Dubberstein)

    A = Chicago. University. Oriental Institute Museum. Asiatic collection. (Followed by registration number.)

    AJSL = American journal of Semitic languages and literatures (Chicago etc., 1884-1941).

    Assurbanipal = STRECK, MAXIMILIAN. Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen Konige bis zum Untergange Nineveh's ("Vorderasiatische Bibliothek" VII [3 vols.; Leipzig, 1916]).

    BE = Pennsylvania University. The Babylonian expedition of the University of Pennsylvania. Series A: Cuneiform texts, ed. by H. V. HILPRECHT (Philadelphia, 1893-1914).

    BE VIII 1 = CLAY, ALBERT T. Legal and commercial transactions dated in the Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Persian periods (1908).

    BE IX = HILPRECHT, H. V., and CLAY, ALBERT T. Business documents of Murashu sons of Nippur dated in the reign of Artaxerxes I (1898).

    BE X = CLAY, ALBERT T. Business documents of Murashu sons of Nippur dated in the reign of Darius II (1904).

    BHT = SMITH, SIDNEY. Babylonian historical texts relating to the capture and downfall of Babylon (London, 1924).

    BM British Museum.

    BRLM = Babylonian records in the library of J. Pierpont Morgan, ed. by ALBERT T. CLAY (New York, 1912-).

    BRLM I = CLAY, ALBERT T. Babylonian business transactions of the first millennium B.C. (1912).

    BRLM II = CLAY, ALBERT T. Legal documents from Erech dated in the Seleucid era (1913).

    BRVU = KRUCKMANN, OLUF. Babylonische Rechts- und Verwaltungs- Urkunden aus der Zeit Alexanders und der Diadochen (Weimar, 1931).

    Cambyses = STRASSMAIER, J. N. Inschriften von Cambyses, Konig von Babylon ("Babylonische Texte" [V] Heft 8-9 [Leipzig, 1890]).

    CT = British Museum. Cuneiform texts from Babylonian tablets, &c., in the British Museum (London, 1896-).

    Cyrus = STRASSMAIER, J. N. Inschriften von Cyrus, Konig von Babylon ("Babylonische Texte" [IV] Heft 7 [Leipzig, 1890]).

    Darius = STRASSMAIER, J. N. Inschriften von Darius, Konig von Babylon ("Babylonische Texte" [VI] Heft 10-12 Leipzig, 1897]).

    EGAB = SIDERSKY, DAVID. Etude sur la chronologie assyro-babylonienne (Paris, 1916).

    GGCI = Goucher College, Baltimore. Goucher College cuneiform inscriptions (New Haven, 1923- ).

    GGGI I = DOUGHERTY, R. P. Archives from Erech, time of Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus (1923).

    GCCI II = DOUGHERTY, R. P. Archives from Erech, Neo-Babylonian and Persian periods (1933).

    JCS = Journal of cuneiform studies (New Haven, 1947-).

    JNES = Journal of Near Eastern studies (Chicago, 1942-).

    LBART = Late Babylonian astronomical and related texts. Copied by T. G. PINCHES and J. N. STRASSMAIER. prepared for publication by A. J. SACHS with the co-operation of J. SCHAVMBERGER (Brown University Studies, Vol. 18, 1955).

    LCE = KEISER, C. E. Letters and contracts from Erech written in the Neo- Babylonian period ("Babylonian inscriptions in the collection of James B. Nies" I [New Haven, 1918]).

    MLC = Morgan Library Collection (at Yale).

    Nabonidus = STRASSMAIER, J. N. Inschriften von Nabonidus, Konig von Babylon ("Babylonische Texte" [I, Heft 1-4] [Leipzig, 1889]).

    Nabuchodonosor = STRASSMAIER, J. N. Inschriften von Nabuchodonosor, Konig von Babylon ("Babylonische Texte" [II, Heft 5-6] [Leipzig, 1889]).

    NBC = Nies Babylonian Collection (at Yale).

    NBD = MOORE, ELLEN W. Neo-Babylonian documents in the University of Michigan collection (Ann Arbor, 1939).

    NBLE = CLAY, ALBERT T. Neo-Babylonian letters from Erech ("Yale oriental series. Babylonian texts" III [New Haven, 1919]).

    NBRU = POHL, ALFRED. Neubabylonische Rechtsurkunden aus den Berliner Staatlichen Museen (" Analecta Orientalia" VIII-IX [Roma, 1933-34]).

    NBRVT = KRUCKMANN, OLUF. Neubabylonische Rechts- und Verwaltungs- texte ("Texte und Materialien der Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities im Eigentum der Universitat Jena" II/III [Leipzig, 1933]).

    NCBT = Newell Collection of Babylonian Tablets (at Yale).

    PBS = Pennsylvania. University. University Museum. Publications of the Babylonian section (Philadelphia, .911- ).

    PBS II 1 = CLAY, ALBERT T. Business documents of Murashu sons of Nippur dated in the reign of Darius II (1912).

    PSBA = Society of Biblical Archaeology, London. Proceedings (London, 1878/79-1918).

    PTT = CAMERON, GEORGE G. Persepolis treasury tablets ("Oriental Insti- tute Publications" LXV [Chicago, 1948]).

    RA = Revue d'assyriologie et d'archeologie orientale (Paris, 1884-).

    RECC = TREMAYNE, ARCH. Records from Erech, time of Cyrus and Cambyses ("Yale oriental series. Babylonian texts" VII [1925]).

    REN = DOUGHERTY, R. P. Records from Erech, time of Nabonidus ("Yale oriental series. Babylonian texts" VI [1920]).

    SSB = KUGLER, FRANZ X. Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel (2 vols. and 3 supplements; Miinster, 1907-35).

    TCL = Paris. Musee national du Louvre. Textes cuneiformes (Paris, 1910--).

    TCL IX = CONTENAU, GEORGES. Contrats et lettres d' Assyrie et de Babylonie (1926).

    TCL XII-XIII = CONTENAU, GEORGES. Contrats neo-babyloniens. I-II (1927-29).

    UCP = California University. Publications in Semitic philology (Berkeley, 1907-).

    UCP IX 1 = LUTZ, H. F. Neo-Babylonian administrative documents from Erech (1927).

    UET IV = Ur excavations, texts IV. H. H. FIGULLA, Business documents of the New-Babylonian period (1949). Publications of the joint expedition of the British Museum and of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, to Mesopotamia.)

    YBC = Yale Babylonian Collection.

    VAS = Berlin. Konigliche Museen. Vorderasiatische Abteilung. Vorder- asiatische Schriftdenkmiiler (Leipzig, 1907-17).

    ZA = Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie und verwandte Gebiete (Leipzig, 1886-).

    The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume III, Part 2
    , second edition, 1991, pp. 242-243.

    "It has been assumed that, since the last contract dated by Nebuchadrezzar’s forty-third regnal year was written at Uruk (8 October 562) and the first to be dated by his son and successor Amel-Marduk was written that same day , Nebuchadrezzar died early in October. However, two contracts dated to the previous August-September by Amel-Marduk could reflect a period of co-regency, while another dated 15/V/43 (29 August 562) but with an unusual formula, ‘the goddess of Uruk, king of Babylon’, if not a scribal error, might mean that Nebuchadrezzar died somewhat earlier, and that a cautious scribe in a time of disturbance following the king’s death waited to see who his successor would be. Later tradition supposed that Amel-Marduk acted as regent during his father’s illness and that there was confusion at the time of a handover to a successor. Any hiatus was of short duration, for the same contract datings show that Amel-Marduk was acknowledged as king in all the major Babylonian cities by mid-October. ... The latest contract dated to Amel-Marduk in Babylon was written on 7 August 560,and within four days other texts recognized Neriglissar as king there, at Uruk, and elsewhere. ... the latest documents dated by him [Neriglissar] were written on April 12 (556) at Babylon and April 16 at Uruk. If he died later that month, that would accord with the Uruk King List ascription of a reign of three years and eight months.

    . .. Neriglissar’s chosen heir was Labashi-Marduk, his son. ..The Uruk King List assigns him a period of three months and this agrees with the dated texts of his reign (earliest 23/1 acession year at Uruk and latest 12/III accession year probably at Sippar ), rather than with the nine (possibly read two) months in Berossus’ manuscript.

    ... By the end of June 556 scribes throughout Babylonia dated their documents by the new monarch [Nabonidus] ."


  • jgnat

    Alleymom, remind me never to take you on in a debate. You carried this subject forward perfectly, by explaining the concept simply, but keeping your thorough research in reserve. You are right. To keep from overwhelming our JW friends, we need to explain even complex subjects in simple terms.

  • Alleymom
    Alleymom, remind me never to take you on in a debate. You carried this subject forward perfectly, by explaining the concept simply, but keeping your thorough research in reserve.

    Jgnat --


    One of these days I'm going to have to start organizing my large collection of journal articles. I've been looking through my stuff recently, and I have an amazing number of articles from the Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie, JNES, JAOS, etc., that would probably be of interest to a few people on this board.


  • Alleymom

    I had a goofy thought today --

    Were any of you ever crazy about horse stories as a child? Did you ever read Walter Farley (The Black Stallion series) or Marguerite Henry?

    I can't remember which book featured a horse which was foaled very late in the year. He became a "yearling" while he was still very young, and it was awhile before he caught up to the other yearlings in form and development, but he eventually went on to become a champion. I can't remember if this was supposed to be a real horse (Man O'War, e.g.) or if it was a fictional one.

    All thoroughbreds are considered "yearlings" on the first New Year's Day after they are foaled, regardless of how many months old they actually are. It struck me today that this is sort of like the accession-year dating of the kings.

    In a nation which counted a king's first months of office as his "accession year" rather than "year 1" of his reign, he wasn't a "yearling" until the first New Year's Day after he took the throne.

    Of course, different nations observed different New Year days at different times in their history: a spring new year (Nisan), a summer new year (Thoth), or a fall new Year (Tishri). At least in horseracing, everyone's on the same calendar <s>.


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