Eponym lists and chronicles

The Assyrians did not count years but named them after the king, high officials and provincial governors - the year eponyms TT , as we call them, using a Greek term referring to the same practice as attested in e.g. ancient Athens. The year names are collected in the Assyrian eponym lists and chronicles, copies of which were excavated in Nineveh, Assur and Šibaniba (modern Sultantepe near Urfa). Nine manuscripts list just the year names (the 'eponym lists') while twelve others give the names with historical information (the 'eponym chronicles').

Alan Millard has edited these texts in the State Archives of Assyria Studies series. The editions of the individual manuscripts as well as the composite text are reproduced here with the kind permission of the author and the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project [http://www.helsinki.fi/science/saa/] (NATCP). Copyright remains with the author and the NATCP. The texts may not be reproduced for non-educational purposes, beyond fair use, without the permission of the author and the NATCP.

» Browse or search the eponym lists and chronicles. [http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/saao/saas2/corpus]

Abbreviation Original publication
SAAS 2 A. R. Millard, The Eponyms of the Assyrian Empire 910-612 B.C. (State Archives of Assyria Studies 2), Helsinki 1994

A useful introduction to the nature and function of the eponym lists and chronicles can be found in Millard, A. R., 'Observations from the Eponym Lists', in S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting (eds.), Assyria 1995, Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 1997, 207-215. Download PDF version of article (984 KB) [/downloads/millard_assyria_1995_1997.pdf] (requires free Adobe Acrobat reader [http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/acrobat/readstep2.html]).

The original publication was reviewed in a number of specialist journals:

Manuscript of the Assyrian Eponym Chronicle from Nineveh, covering the years 817-727 BC (B1 in Millard's edition). Photo © British Museum, K. 51. View large image on the British Museum's website [http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_image.aspx?objectId=314950&partId=1&searchText=eponym+list&fromADBC=ad&toADBC=ad&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database.aspx&numPages=10&currentPage=1&asset_id=594106].

The online edition incorporates the collations and the additional manuscript B12 offered by I. L. Finkel and J. E. Reade in their review article 'Assyrian Eponyms, 873-649 BC' (see above). Other than that, we have not taken the reviews into account in the online edition but strongly recommend that they be consulted when using this site as a resource for specialist Assyriological research.

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Content last modified: 20 Jul 2021.

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© Mechanisms of communication in the Assyrian empire. History Department, University College London, 2009