Mesopotamian Monday: Shalmaneser in Ararat

The Biblical Review

Shalmaneser III (c. 858 – 824 BCE) was a Neo-Assyrian king, known for his military incursions into Syria, Anatolia, and (possibly) the Urartian kingdom. The Urartian kingdom is possible because one of the texts contains records of his incursion into Urartu. This text is traditionally titled Shalmaneser in Ararat.

This text describes the campaign of an Assyrian king into Urartu. Lambert, Grayson, Foster, and others take this Assyrian king to be Shalmaneser III [2]. Identification of the Assyrian king as Shalmaneser III, though, is not necessarily obvious. After providing discussion of the historical issues surrounding this campaign, Reade comments: “Clearly the date and the historical validity of the campaign described in STT 43,” namely Shalmaneser in Ararat, “remain arguable” [2].

The historical validity of the text is problematic, in particular, because the text is a poetic account. As a poetic account, it is first-and-foremost literature, not historical documentation. So…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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