Amarna letter EA 245

EA 362, from Rib-Haddi, an equivalent-sized Amarna letter, with approximate similar appearance and length.
(very high-resolution expandable photo)

Amarna letter EA 245, titled: "Assignment of Guilt,"[1] is a medium length clay tablet Amarna letter from Biridiya the governor-'mayor' of Magidda. It is letter number four of five from Biridiya.

The letter is in pristine condition except for a missing flake (lower-right, obverse) causing a lacuna at the end of a few lines. The cuneiform characters are finely inscribed, with some photos that can even show the individual strokes of the cuneiform characters (the stroke sequence). The letter is 47-lines long, and about 5-in tall. Letter EA 245 (see here-(Obverse): ), is numbered BM 29855, at the British Museum.

The Amarna letters, about 300, numbered up to EA 382, are a mid 14th century BC, about 1350 BC and 20–25 years later, correspondence. The initial corpus of letters were found at Akhenaten's city Akhetaten, in the floor of the Bureau of Correspondence of Pharaoh; others were later found, adding to the body of letters.

The letter

EA 245: "Assignment of Guilt"

EA 245, letter four of five. (Not a linear, line-by-line translation, and English from French.)[2]

(Lines 1-7)--Moreover,1 I urged my brothers, "If the god of the king, our lord, brings it about2 that we overcome Lab'ayu, then we must bring him alive :(gloss) ha-ia-ma to the king, our lord."
(8-14)--My mare, however having been put out of action :-(gloss) tu-ra (having been shot), I took my place behind him :(gloss) ah-ru-un-ú and rode with Yashdata.3 But before my arrival they had struck him down :(gloss) ma-ah-ṣú-ú.
(15-23)--Yašdata being truly your servant, he it was that entered with me into batt[le]. May [ ... ] [ ... ] the life4 of the king, my [lord], that he may br[ing peace to ever]yone5 in [the lands of] the king, [my] lord.
(24-35)--It had been Surata that took Labaya from Magidda. and said to me, "I will send him to the king by boat :(gloss) a-na-yi "6 Surata took him, but he sent him from Hinnatunu to his home, for it was Surata that had accepted from him :(gloss) ba-di his ransom.
(36-47)--Moreover, what have I done to the king, my lord, that he has treated me with contempt :(gloss) ia8--ìl-li-ni and honored :(gloss) ia8-ka-bi-id my less important brothers?7 It was Surata that let Lab'ayu go, and it was Surata that let Ba'l-mehir go, (both) to their homes. And may the king, my lord, know.--(complete Obverse & Reverse, EA 245, minor, restored lacunae, (and a small corner of clay tablet missing), total ines 1-47)

Akkadian text

The Akkadian language text:[3]


Obverse (see here: )

(Line 1)--Ša-ni-tam dabābu--(..Furthermore,.. to expound upon (to talk))
(2)--UGU ŜEŠ-HI.A-ia--(upon Brothers-Mine,.. )
(3)--šumma epēšu--(..If .. to make happen)
(4)--DMEŠ-nu ša LUGAL-ri(=ŠÀRru) ENBēlu-nu--( "the God"-ours,.. 'which of' King-Lord-Ours.. )
(5)--ù kašādu--(..and Defeat!.. )
(6)--1.diš-La-aB-A-iYa ù til-la-nu-um-ma :-(gloss) ha-ia-ma--(1.diš-Labaya,.. and "bodily" :-(gloss) "alive",.. )
(7)--nu-abālu ana LUGAL-ri(=ŠÀRru) ENBēlu-nu--(..Bring 'unto'(to) King-Lord-Ours!... )
(8)--Ù tu-sà-ah-mi(=tazzimtu) :-(gloss) tu-ra(tarû)--(..But "bad luck" :-(gloss) "returned"?('my horse was "shot"')..)
(9)--ANŠE.KUR.ra :-(gloss) MUNUS-ia ù uzuzzu--(Horse- :-(gloss) mine,..and "to be present",.. )
(10)--EGIR.ERIM-šu :-(gloss) hannú--(..BEHIND.ARMY-his :-(gloss) "expeditioning"(=road, journey) )
(11)--ù erēbu--(..and "to encamp"(to set),.. )
(12)--itti 1.diš-Ya((=pi))--Da-Ta--(with Yashdata!... )
(13)--Ù adi kašādu--(..But before "conquering"(reaching/vanquishing),.. )
(14)--ù dâku :-(gloss) mahāṣ(ú)u--(and "killed" :-(gloss) 'fighting'!.. )
(15)--ù elû-mì(+šamû(heaven)?) 1.diš-Ya(=pi)--Da-Ta--(and "ascended-up" 1.diš-Yashdata,.. )
(16)--Ardu-ka ù št--(Servant-yours,.. and "who of",.. )
(17)--erēbu itti--(-(always)-"to enter" with,.. )
(18)--ina ERIM(=tāhāzu) zu--(..into BATTLE-War-Battle!.. )
(19)--ù lū nâ[-du ana šâšu ]--(and "may it be" 'to (have)-praise' for him,.. )
(20)--til-la-aṭ(tillu) LUGAL-ri(=ŠÀRru) ENBēlu-ia--(.."warriors"(workers)-(of),. King-Lord-Mine,.. )
(21)--[ ù ] epē[-šu ]--(..and "to treat"... [ .. ])-(lacuna)
(22)--gabbu ina [ ... ]--(..everyone in [ ..?.. ] )-(lacuna)
(23)--LUGAL-ri(=ŠÀRru) ENBēlu-ia--(.., King-Lord-Mine! .. )

Reverse (see here: )

(24)--Ù 1.diš--Ra-Ta--(But,.. 1.-Surata.. )
(25)--yi(=pi)-il5-qû(leqû) 1.diš-La-aB-A-iYa--(..took Labaya.. )
(26)--ištu URUMa-GID6-Daki--(from Magidda,.. )
(27)--ú yi(=pi)-qa ana iā-[ ši ](iāši)(--(and "said" to me: )
(28)--ema ša GIŠ :-(gloss) a-na-yi--(.."Now 'that by' BOAT :-(gloss) 'ship'... )
(29)--uššuru-šu--(..Send (issue)!..(i.e. Labaya)..)
(30)--ana LUGAL-ri(=ŠÀRru),.. ù (pi)leqû--(to (the) King,.." ..But 'taken'..)
(31)--1.diš--Ra-Ta ù (pi)tarû--(..(by) 1.-Surata,.. and "returned"-him..)

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amarna letters.

External links


  1. Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 245, Assignment of Guilt, p. 299-300.
  2. Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 245, Assignment of Guilt, p. 299-300.
  3. Akkadian language characters & Line Drawing, EA 245: Reverse & Obverse, CDLI no. P270957 (Chicago Digital Library Initiative)
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