Nebuchadnezzar II 027

Column i
i 1i 1


(i 1) Nebuchadnezzar (II), king of Babylon, pious prince, favorite of the god Marduk, the exalted ruler who is the beloved of the god Nabû, the one who deliberates (and) acquires wisdom, the one who constantly seeks out life, the pious (and) unceasing one, the one who brings great gifts into Esagil, the wise (and) pious one who provides for Esagil and Ezida, foremost heir of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, am I.

i 22


i 33

ru-ba-a-am na--dam

i 44

mi-gi-ir dAMAR.UTU

i 55

-ša-ak-kam ṣi-i-ri-im

i 66

na-ra-am dna-bi-um

i 77

mu--ta-lam a-ḫi-iz ne-me-

i 88

mu--te--ù ba-la-ṭam

i 99

na--dam la mu-up-pa-ar-ku-ù

i 1010

ba-bi-il i-gi-se-e ra--ù-tim

i 1111

a-na é-sag-íl

i 1212

e-em- mu-ut--en-nu-ú

i 1313

za-ni-in é-sag-íl ù é-zi-da

i 1414

IBILA a-ša-re-dam ša dna-bi-um-IBILA-ú-ṣu-úr

i 1515


i 1616

ì-nu-um dAMAR.UTU

(i 16) When the god Marduk, the great lord, raised up my head (and) gave me a widespread people to shepherd, I myself am constantly present (and) unfailing towards the god Marduk, my lord, (and) [I] constantly sought out the sanctuaries of the god Nabû, his (Marduk’s) true heir, the one who loves my royal majesty, (and) I [consta]ntly pondered [things that] were pleasing to them.

i 1717

be- ra--ù

i 1818

re-e-ši-ia ú-ul-lu-ù

i 1919

ni-ši ra-ap-ša-a-tim

i 2020

a-na re-é-ú-tim

i 2121


i 2222

a-na-ku a-na dAMAR.UTU be--ia

i 2323

ka-a-a-na-ku la ba-aṭ-la-ku

i 2424

à--ra-at dna-bi-um

i 2525

a--il-šu ki-i-nim

i 2626

na-ra-am šar-ru-ti-ia

i 2727

[]-te---a ka-a-a-nam

i 2828

[ša] e-li-šu-nu ṭa-a-bu

i 2929

[-]-da-a a-ta-mu

i 3030

[ì-nu]-mi-šu a-na dAMAR.UTU

(i 30) [At th]at time, I was attentive towards the god Marduk, the supreme one, the mighty one, the exalted one, the venerated [he]ro, [the one who directs] the assembly of [Ig]īgū [and Anun]nakū gods, the great ...s, the Enlil of the gods, the eminent one, the bright light, the glory of gods his ancestors the one who resides in Esagil, the lord of Babylon, the great lord, my lord.

i 3131


i 3232

da-nim ṣi-ri-im

i 3333

[qar]-ra-du ka-ab-tu

i 3434

[a-šir] pu-úḫ-ri

i 3535


i 3636

[u da-nun]-na-ki

i 3737

x x (x) x ra-bu-tim

i 3838


i 3939

nu-ú-ru na-am-ri-im

i 4040

ta--ri-iḫ-ti ì- ab--e-šu

i 4141

a-ši-ib é-sag-íl EN .DINGIR.RA.KI

i 4242

be- ra--ù be--ia at-ta-ʾi-id-ma1

Column ii
ii 1ii 1

é-temen-an-ki zi--úr-ra-at .DINGIR.RA.KI2 3

(ii 1) (With regard to) Etemenanki, the ziggurat of Babylon, whose emplacement Nabopolassar, the king of Babylon, my father who engendered me, had had purified through the craft of the exorcist, the wisdom of the gods Ea and Marduk, and whose foundation(s) he had firmly placed on the surface (lit. “breast”) of the netherworld, whose four walls he had raised thirty cubits on the outside using bitumen and baked brick, but whose superstructure he had not raised up (to its summit), I set to work raising the superstructure of Etemenanki to have (its summit) rival the heavens.

ii 22

ša dna-bi-um-IBILA-ú-ṣu-úr

ii 33

LUGAL .DINGIR.RA.KI a-bi ba-nu-ú-a

ii 44

i-na ši--ir KA..GÁL-ú-tim

ii 55

-me- dé-a ù dAMAR.UTU

ii 66

à-ša-ar-ša ul-li-lu-ma

ii 77

in i-ra-at ki-gal-lim4

ii 88

ú-ki-in-nu te-me-en-ša

ii 99

i-ga-ru-ša er-be-et-ti5

ii 1010

a-na ki-da-a-ni

ii 1111


ii 1212


ii 1313

30 KÙŠ ú-za-aq--ru-ma6

ii 1414

la ú-ul-lu-ù re-e-ši-ša

ii 1515

é-temen-an-ki a-na ú-ul-li-im

ii 1616

re-e-ši-ša ša-ma-mi

ii 1717

a-na ši-it-nu-nim

ii 1818

- -ku-un-ma

ii 1919

ni-ši ra-ap-ša-a-tim

(ii 19) I mustered the widespread people whom the god Marduk, my lord, had entrusted to me (and) whom the hero, the god Šamaš, had given me to shepherd, all of the lands, everywhere, (and) every single inhabited settlement from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea, far-off lands, the widespread people of the inhabited world, kings of remote mountains and distant islands that are in the Upper and Lower Seas, whose lead-rope(s) the god Marduk, my lord, placed in my hand to pull his chariot pole, and I imposed (the carrying of) basket(s) on the workmen of the gods Šamaš and Marduk in order to build Etemenanki.

ii 2020

ša dAMAR.UTU be-

ii 2121

ia-ti i--pa-an-ni

ii 2222

re-é-ú--na id-di-nam

ii 2323

-ra-dam dUTU-šum

ii 2424

ku-ul-la-at ma-ti-ta-an

ii 2525

gi-mi-ir ka-la da-ad-mi

ii 2626

ul-tu ti-a-am-tim

ii 2727


ii 2828

a-di ti-a-am-tim

ii 2929


ii 3030

MA.DA.MA.DA ru--a-tim

ii 3131

ni-ši da-ad-mi ra-ap-ša-a-tim

ii 3232

LUGAL.MEŠ ša-di-i ne-su-tim

ii 3333

ù na-gi-i -e-ru-tim

ii 3434

ša -re-eb ti-a-am-tim

ii 3535


ii 3636

ù ša-ap-li-tim

ii 3737

ša dAMAR.UTU be-

ii 3838

a-na ša-da-ad se-er-de-šu

ii 3939


ii 4040

ú-ma-al-lu-ù -tu-ú-a

ii 4141

ad-ka-am-ma um-ma-na-at

ii 4242


ii 4343

i-na e--šu é-temen-an-ki

ii 4444

e-mi-id-su-nu-ti tu-up-ši-ik-ku

ii 4545

úri.KI UNUG.KI larsa.KI

(ii 45) (With regard to) Ur, Uruk, Larsa, Eridu, Kullaba, Nēmed-[La]guda, Ugar-Sîn, the entire land of the Lower Sea, from its uppermost part to its lowermost part, Nippur, Isin, Larak, Dilbat, Marad, Puqūdu, Bīt-D[akkūri], Bīt-Amuk(k)āni, Bīt-[Šillāni], Birāt[u], Dēr, Agade, [Dūr-Šarrukku], Arrapḫa, Laḫī[ru, ...], the entirety of the lands of Ak[kad and Assyria],

ii 4646

eridu.KI kul-aba₄.KI

ii 4747


ii 4848


ii 4949

na-ap-ḫa-ar KUR ti-a-am-tim ša-ap-li-tim

ii 5050

-tu re-e-ši-ša

ii 5151

a-di -di-ša

ii 5252

NIBRU.KI ì-si-in.KI

ii 5353

la-ra-ak.KI dil-bat.KI már-da.[KI]7

ii 5454

KUR.pu-qu-du KUR.É-da-[ku-ru]

ii 5555

KUR.É-a-mu-ka-a-nim KUR.É-[si-la-a-nim]

Column iii
iii 1iii 1[tim]

iii 22


iii 33ḫaḫi-[ri KUR.x x]

iii 44

na-ap-ḫa-ar KUR-ak-ka-[di-im]

iii 55

ù MA.DA-d[-šur.KI]

iii 66

LUGAL.MEŠ ša e--er-na-a-[ri]

(iii 6) kings of Across the Riv[er] (Syria-Palestine), provincial governors of the land of Ḫatti, from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea, the land of Sumer and Akka[d], al[l of] the land of Subartu (Assyria), king(s) of remote islands that are in the midst of the Upper Sea, king(s) of remote islands that are in the midst of the Lower Sea, (and) governors of the land of Ḫatti, (who are) across the Euphrates River, to the west (lit. “entering of the sun”), over whom I exercise dominion by the word of the god Marduk, my lord, and who bring (beams of) hard cedar from Mount Lebanon to my city, Babylon,

iii 77


iii 88

ša MA.DA-ḫa-at-tim

iii 99

-tu ti-a-am-tim e-li-tim

iii 1010

a-di ti-a-am-tim ša-ap-li-tim

iii 1111

MA.DA-šu-me-ri ù ak-ka-di-im8

iii 1212

MA.DA-SU.BIR₄.KI ka-la-ši-[na]9

iii 1313

LUGAL na-gi-i ne-su-tim

iii 1414

ša -re-eb ti-a-am-tim

iii 1515


iii 1616

LUGAL na-gi-i ne-su-tim10

iii 1717

ša -re-eb ti-a-am-tim

iii 1818


iii 1919


iii 2020


iii 2121

--er-ti ÍD.BURANUN.KI11

iii 2222

a-na e-re-eb dUTU-ši

iii 2323

ša i-na a-ma-at

iii 2424

dAMAR.UTU be--ia

iii 2525

be-lu-ut-su-nu a--lu-ma

iii 2626

GIŠ.EREN.MEŠ da-nu₄-tim

iii 2727


iii 2828


iii 2929


iii 3030

na-ap-ḫa-ar ni-ši da-ad-mi

(iii 30) the entirety of the widespread people of the inhabited world, whom the god Marduk, my lord, had granted me, to build Etemenanki, I had them undertake the work and I imposed (the carrying of) basket(s) on them.

iii 3131


iii 3232

ša dAMAR.UTU be- ia-ti -ru-kam

iii 3333

i-na e--šu é-temen-an-ki

iii 3434

du-ul-lum ú-ša-aṣ-bi-it-su-nu-ti-ma

iii 3535

e-mi-id-su-nu-ti tu-up-ši-ik-ku

iii 3636

i-ši-id-su 30 KÙŠ

(iii 36) I filled in its base with a high thirty cubit infill. I plated thick (beams of) cedar (and) large (beams of) musukkannu-wood with bronze and had (them) set up in great numbers.

iii 3737

ta-am-la-a za-aq-ri-im ú-ma-al-li

iii 3838

GIŠ.EREN.MEŠ pa-ag-lu-tim

iii 3939

GIŠ.MES..KAN.NA ra--ù-tim

iii 4040

ZABAR ú-ḫa-al-li-ip-ma

iii 4141

ma-diš -ta-ak-ka-an

iii 4242

x [...] -ši-šu12

(iii 42) [...] it foundation(s) [...] strong, [I c]lad (it) [...]. For the šīpu, [...], crossbeam(s), giškanakku(s), [sikkūr]u šāqilu lock(s), [...] roof, [...] ... [...] ...

iii 4343

[...] da-nu₄-tim

iii 4444

[... ú]-ša-al-bi--ma

iii 4545

[...] a-na ši-i-

iii 4646

[... GIŠ.ta-al]-lum? giš--na-ku

iii 4747

[...] x LÁL

iii 4848

[...] x ṣú-lu-lam

iii 4949

[...] x x x-tim

iii 5050

[...] x x13



iii 1'1'

[...] da-núm pa-ar-zi-il-lam14

(iii 1') [I secured] their structure(s) with strong [...] (and) iron.

iii 2'2'

[ú-ša-ar]-ši-id ri-ki-is-su-un

iii 3'3'

[é]-temen-an-ki -ti-iq-ša ka-la-[mu]15

(iii 3') [(With regard to), Eteme]nanki, [I built (and) completed] its ent[ire] structure [using bitume]n and baked brick. [...].

Column iv
iv 1iv 1

[i-na ESIR.UD.DU].A ù SIG₄.AL.[ÙR.RA]

iv 22

[e--? ú-ša-ak-li-il-ma?]

iv 33


iv 44

ki-iṣ-ṣi-im e-[el-lu]16

(iv 4) For the god Marduk, my lord, I skillfully built a h[oly] shrine, a well-adorn[ed] bedroo[m], as (it was in) distant days, on its summit.

iv 55

ma--ta-ak ta-ak--[e]

iv 66

ki-ma ša u₄-mi ul-lu-ú-[tim]

iv 77

a-na dAMAR.UTU be--ia

iv 88

i-na re-e-ši-šu

iv 99

na-ak-li- e-pu-

iv 1010

dAMAR.UTU be- ša-ga-pu-úr ì- mu-ut-ta-al-lum

(iv 10) O Marduk, my lord, majestic one of the gods, noble one, by your command the cult center of the gods is built (and) its brickwork is created so that the sukku-shrine will constantly renew itself (and) the temple will be perfect. By your exalted word, which cannot be altered, may my gištaggû-offering(s) be perfectly executed, may my handiwork be completed, may everything that I have built endure and stay in good repair forever (and) I may be sated with its luxuriousness. Firmly establish the throne of my royal majesty like Etemenanki for eternity (and) secure (it) forever.

iv 1111

i-na -bi-ti-ka

iv 1212

ma-ḫa-zi ì- ib-ba-an-ni

iv 1313


iv 1414


iv 1515

ú-ta-ad-da- su-uk-kam

iv 1616

-ta-ak-la-al é-kur-ra

iv 1717

i-na a-ma-ti-ka ṣi-ir-ti

iv 1818

ša la i-šu-ú na-ka-ri

iv 1919

li--li-im-ma giš-tag-ga-a-a

iv 2020


iv 2121

li--it -ti-ia

iv 2222

mi-im-mu-ú e-te-ep-pu-šu li-ku-un-ma

iv 2323

ga-du ul-la li-bu-úr-ma17

iv 2424

la-la-a-šu lu--bi

iv 2525

ki-ma é-temen-an-ki18

iv 2626

ku-un-nu a-na ṣa-a-ti

iv 2727

ku-us-si šar-ru-ti-ia

iv 2828


iv 2929

a-na u₄-mi da--ú-ti

iv 3030

é-temen-an-ki a-na ia-ti

(iv 30) O Etemenanki, pray for me, Nebuchadnezzar (II), the king who renovated you. When I have completed your construction by the commands of the god Marduk, O house, speak favorably (about me) to the god Marduk, my lord. May I be sated with walking in your presence (until) the attainment of very old age (and) may my descendants rule over the black-headed (people) forever.

iv 3131


iv 3232

LUGAL mu-ud-di-ši-ka ku-úr-ba

iv 3333

e-nu-ma i-na --a-ti dAMAR.UTU

iv 3434


iv 3535


iv 3636

É a-na dAMAR.UTU be--ia

iv 3737

da-mi-iq-tim ti-iz-ka-ar

iv 3838

ma-aḫ-ri-ka a-ta-al-lu-ku lu--bi

iv 3939

še--e li-it-tu-ti

iv 4040

[li]-pu-ú-a a-na da--a-tim

iv 4141

[ṣa-al]-ma-at --di li--e-lu

1On ex. 9, col. ii begins with this line.

2On ex. 8, col. ii begins with this line.

3Compare the building reports of the earlier and shorter inscriptions commemorating work on Etemenanki: Nbk. 45 (VA Bab 623) i´ 1´–7´ and Nbk. 46 (VA Bab 1922) i´ 1´–15´. Both of those texts do not include the long passage recording the numerous people whom Nebuchadnezzar II had mustered to construct the massive superstructure of the god Marduk’s ziggurat at Babylon. Compare, for example, the C212 and C041 inscriptions, both of which commemorate Nebuchadnezzar’s rebuilding of Eurmeiminanki, the ziggurat of the god Nabû at Borsippa. The C212 text, which is written on two-column cylinders and in contemporary Neo-Babylonian script, does not mention the large-scale workforces used to construct the temple-tower, while the C041 text, which is written on four-column cylinders in an archaizing Neo-Babylonian script (just like this inscription), does.

4On ex. 6, col. ii begins with this line.

5On ex. 2, col. ii begins with this line.

6Recording the height to which a previous king raised a ziggurat’s massive brick structure is attested not only for Etemenanki (here, as well as in Nbk. 45 [VA Bab 623] i´ 2´ and Nbk. 46 [VA Bab 1922] i´ 8´), but also for Ekunankuga at Sippar (VA 8410 ii and Weiserhäuser and Novotny, RINBE 2 p. 49 Ner. 6 [C022] ii 8) and Eurmeiminanki at Borsippa (C212 i 28 and C041 i 19´). The unfinished structures of those two temple-towers are reported to have been raised respectively twenty-cubits and forty-two cubits, whereas the uncompleted Etemenanki had been raised only to the top of its first tier, which was thirty cubits high.

7On ex. 9, col. iii begins with this line.

8On ex. 6, col. iii begins with this line.

9On ex. 2, the now-missing col. iii would have begun with this line.

10ne-su-tim “remote”: Only in ex. 1. Exs. 5 and 11 have -e-ru-tim (“distant”) and be-e-ru-tim respectively.

11--er-ti “across”: Ex. 6 has a-ba-ar-[ti], “the other side.”

12These lines are presently attested only in ex. 13. Compare C041 iv 1´–7´, which have [...] GIŠ.MES..KAN.NA ra--ù-tim [lu -ta]-ak-ka-an -re-eb -ši-ša [GIŠ.GAN.DU₇ giš-šà]--na-ku GIŠ.SAG.KUL LÁL [...] lu? ša GIŠ.EREN ši-ḫu-ú-tim [...]-ti?-ša ú-ša-ar-ši-id [GIŠ.EREN da-nu₄-tim a-na ṣu-lu]-li?-ša ú-ša-at-ri-iṣ-ma [...]-x-lam -ši-ša ri-ki-is-su-un “[I indeed regul]arly placed [...] large (beams) of musukannu-wood in its foundations. I secured [the architrave(s), giššak]anakkus, (and) sikkūru šāqilu lock(s), (and) [...]s of tall cedar [as] its [roof].”

13Given the different arrangements of the text on exs. 1, 5, 11, and 13, it is not known precisely how big this break in the text is, but is assumed here that it was not more than a few lines.

14These lines are presently attested only in ex. 11.

15Compare C041 iv 8´–12´, which have [-ti-iq]-ša ka-la-mu [i-na ku-up-ri] ù a-gur-ri [e-- ú]-ša-ak-li-il-ma [...]-x-ti ú-ul-la-a re-e-ša-a-šu “[I built (and) com]pleted [...] its (Eurmeiminanki’s) entire [structure using bitumen] and baked brick and (then) I built (it) anew. [...] ... I raised its superstructure.”

16Compare Nbk. 45 (VA Bab 623) i´ 6´–7´, which have [ki-iṣ-ṣi] el-lu ma--ta-kám ta-ak--e i-[na a-gur-ri NA₄.ZA.GÌN el-le-tim i-na re]-e-ši-ša na-am-ri-[ e--], “[On] its [sum]mit, [I] resplendent[ly built a] holy [shrine], a well-adorned bedroom, us[ing baked bricks (colored with) shining blue glaze].” That inscription is presumed to have been earlier than the present text.

17See the on-page note to Nbk. 46 (VA Bab 1922) ii´ 6´.

18Compare Nbk. 46 (VA Bab 1922) ii´ 7´–11´, which have ki-ma SIG₄.SIG₄ é-[temen-an-ki] ku-un-nam a-na ṣi-a-tim SUḪUŠ GIŠ.GU.ZA šar-ru-ti-ia šu-úr-ši-id a-na u₄-um re-e--ú-tim “Like the bricks of E[temenanki], which are firmly in place for eternity, firmly secu[re] the foundation(s) of m[y] throne until the distant fut[ure].” That passage is known also from an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II’s father (Npl. 6 [C31] iii 42–45), which also records work on Etemenanki. Nbk. 46 is regarded in the present volume as being earlier than the C41 inscription.

19See the on-page note to Nbk. 46 (VA Bab 1922) ii´ 17´.

Created by Frauke Weiershäuser and Jamie Novotny, 2015-24, for the Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI), a corpus-building initiative funded by LMU Munich, the Henkel Foundation, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (through the establishment of the Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East), and and based at the Historisches Seminar - Abteilung Alte Geschichte of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The annotated edition is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0. Please cite this page as