Jan 31 2013

Chronology for the Neo-Assyrian Kings

The date of the Bûr-Saggilê eclipse, which is associated with the tenth year of Ashur-Dan III, was identified by Sir Henry Rawlinson as having occurred on June 15th in the year 763 BCE. However, the eclipse is better identified as occurring on June 24th in the year 791 BCE, which requires the dates for the reigns of the kings of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to be adjusted as follows:                                                                                                                

942–921 BCE Adad-nirari II
921–914 BCE Tukulti-Ninurta II
914–889 BCE Ashur-nasir-pal II
889–854 BCE Shalmaneser III
… 883 BCE Battle of Qarqar [1]
854–852 BCE Civil war [2]
852–839 BCE Shamshi-Adad V [3]
839–811 BCE Adad-nirari III
811–801 BCE Shalmaneser IV
801–783 BCE Ashur-Dan III
… 791 BCE Bûr-Saggilê eclipse [4]
783–773 BCE Ashur-nirari V
773–745 BCE Urartun disruption [5]
745–727 BCE Tiglath-Pileser III
727–722 BCE Shalmaneser V
722–705 BCE Sargon II
705–681 BCE Sennacherib
681–669 BCE Esarhaddon
669–c. 631 BCE Ashurbanipal
c. 631–627 BCE Ashur-etil-ilani
c. 626 BCE Sin-shumu-lishir
c. 627–612 BCE Sin-shar-ishkun
612 BCE Fall of Nineveh

[1] In Shalmaneser’s sixth year, he defeated Ahab of Israel and others in the Battle of Qarqar.

[2] Civil war was waged for two years after the death of Shalmaneser III by his sons Ashur-danin-pal and the future Shamsi-Adad V (see H. R. Hall, The Ancient History of the Near East, London: Methuen & Co.; 1913; p. 455); no eponyms were recorded during the civil war.

[3] Shammu-ramat, wife of Shamsi-Adad V, served as regent for about three years during the last years of her husband’s reign and/or during the beginning years of the reign of her son, Adad-nirari III.

[4] For a full discussion, see Reassessing the Bûr-Saggilê Eclipse on this website.

[5] Urartu dominated northern Assyria; the future king of Assyria Tiglath-pileser III consolidated his power and eventually ruled in southern Assyria; no eponyms were recorded during the twenty-eight year duration of the Urartun disruption.

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