Nabu-apla-iddina - Kudurru Tablet


This stone tablet records the restoration of certain lands by the Babylonian king Nabu-apla-iddina to a priest. On the top of the stone are 13 symbols of the gods designed to protect the legal statement. Both the king, wearing the typical Babylonian royal hat, and the priest, who has a hand raised in salute, are shown on the obverse with labels identifying them. The cuneiform text dates the deed to the 20th year of Nabu-apla-iddina's reign and says it was sealed with the royal seal in Babylon in the presence of five high officials. Babylonian, c. 870 BCE, from Sippar, Mesopotamia, Iraq. (The British Museum, London)



Nabû-apla-iddina, inscribed mdNábû-ápla-iddinana or mdNábû-apla-íddina, = c. 888 – 855 BC, was the 6th king of the dynasty of E of Babylon and he reigned for at least 32 years.[ During much of Nabû-apla-iddina's reign Babylon faced a significant rival in Assyria under the rule of Aššur-nāṣir-apli II. Nabû-apla-iddina was able to avoid both outright war and significant loss of territory although there was some low level conflict including a case where he sent a party of troops led by his brother to aid rebels in Suhu(Suhi,Sukhu,Suru). Later in his reign Nabu-apla-iddina agreed to a treaty with Aššur-nāṣir-apli II’s successor Šulmānu-ašarēdu III. Internally Nabu-apla-iddina worked on the reconstruction of temples and something of a literary revival took place during his reign with many older works being recopied


The 9th century BC was marked by a recovery of sorts after terrible instability of the preceding hundred and fifty years when Aramaean tribes had wantonly raided into Mesopotamia. He was the 2nd of four successive generations of a single family to rule. His father, Nabû-šuma-ukin I, had preceded him and he was to be succeeded by his son, Marduk-zakir-šumi I. The Synchronistic Kinglist gives his Assyrian contemporary as Aššur-nāṣir-apli II although his reign extended on into that of Šulmānu-ašarēdu III.

He provided troops to the state of Suḫu (Suhi) in the middle Euphrates valley as part of its 878 BC revolt against Aššur-nāṣir-apli II. Kudurru,the governor of the fortress of Suru had defiantly refused to pay the Assyrians tribute, provoking their wrath. Nabû-apla-iddina's own brother Zabdanu and the diviner Bel-apli-iddina led the army of 3000 and following their defeat were taken prisoner. Although Aššur-nāṣir-apli claimed to have conquered the border fortresses Hirimmu and Harutu in his own inscriptions, this may be a restatement of his father, Tukulti-Ninurta II’s campaigns.


His reign marks the last time a governor of Isin was to appear as a prominent official in a legal document, and the roles of Kassiteswere to be central to the monarchy, occupying high positions at court. The province of Chaldea in southern Babylonia was first mentioned and the šakin temi begins to serve as regional governor. There was a shift in fashion, where, for example, the feathered crown is replaced by a peaked dome as a headdress of the king.

His inscriptions adorn perhaps five kudurrus, a possession inscription of his eldest son, and he is referenced in three Assyrian kinglists and two chronicles. Towards the end of his reign he concluded a treaty with Šulmānu-ašarēdu III which was to prove instrumental in stabilizing his successor Marduk-zakir-šumi I’s rule, following the revolt of his brother, Marduk-bēl-ušati. His reign is mentioned in a later copy of an offering list of aromatics used in the cult of Marduk in the Esagila at Babylon, and in a contemporary temple ordinance tablet distributing meats in the Eanna temple in Uruk.



7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All