On the Present Edition

This volume includes cuneiform documents from Nineveh, Assur, Calah, and Huzirina (modern Sultantepe) appropriate to the theme of grants, decrees and gifts. Most of the texts from Nineveh belong to corpora (grants, schedules, votive gifts) that were defined long ago by C. H. W. Johns in his Assyrian Deeds and Documents, Vols. I (1898) and II (1901) and refined (grants, votive gifts) in J. Kohler - A. Ungnad, Assyrische Rechtsurkunden (AR 1913). The grants and decrees from all these sites were collected by Postgate in NARGD (1969),[[61]] and partly overlapping this, the decrees and votive donations were collected in Menzel Tempel (1981). A number of joins to the grant corpus as well as the discovery of some additional pieces were reported by Postgate, Or 42 (1973) 441-44. Copies of fragments not previously published in copy have been prepared by Postgate or Freydank and appear at the end of the volume.[[62]]

The Order of Texts in this Edition

As pointed out on p. XIII, the texts have been divided into three major groups with the groups further subdivided as indicated in the Introduction. The order within each subdivision does not follow any hard and fast rules, but is adapted to the nature of the texts. In the grants, the texts are arranged chronologically by rulers, but under each ruler the texts are not necessarily in chronological order but tend to be presented with the most complete texts first and with unattributed pieces at the end. The decrees are also presented chronologically by rulers with collections of decrees by different rulers following these and schedules not associated with a ruler at the end. The private votive donations have been arranged first by the temples to which they were made and then chronologically.

Texts Included and Excluded

As discussed extensively earlier in the Introduction, decisions on the inclusion and exclusion of various texts previously included by various editors of the corpora have not always been easy. All of the texts edited in NARGD, including those in the appendix (not counting the excerpts from the Sargon cylinder), have been included here, but not necessarily under the same classifications. Of the texts listed in NARGD Appendix 5 under the heading of "Other texts" that Johns classified as fragments of grants, ADD 721 and 736 have been included here while ADD 717 has been published as SAA 11 233. Of the texts listed there that Johns classified as gifts, ADD 620 has been included, while ADD 644 and 645 (votive gifts of jewellery by royal women) have been excluded. STT 405-406, excluded from NARGD as not being a royal document is included here as no. 91 (see above, p. XXXVI).

Most of the Neo-Assyrian texts edited in Menzel Tempel under the heading of "Kultische Texte" that are not included here are scheduled for an SAA volume dealing with ritual texts. An exception is n15 T17-18 (Ass 13956bq), a schedule similar to nos. 80 and 81, which has simply been excluded. All of the "Tempelweihurkunden" edited in Menzel Tempel have been included except n70 (ND 2309; see above, p. XVI and n. 11), which has been excluded, and n71 (ADD 255) which is published as SAA 6 59 (see n. 12).


Postgate performed a considerable service by preparing new copies of the texts available to him (i.e., in the British Museum) to replace the ADD copies of Johns when he published NARGD. Still, for the current edition each of these texts was collated again by Postgate. All texts in the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin, were collated by Helmut Freydank and some additional collections of texts in the British Museum were done by Irving L. Finkel. The editors have relied heavily on these collations. Texts in Istanbul and Ankara were not collected for this edition.


The transliterations, addressed to the specialist, render the text of the originals in roman characters according to standard Assyriological conventions and the principles outlined in the Editorial Manual. Every effort has been taken to make them as accurate as possible. The transliterations have been established by Parpola and Whiting with assistance from the collators.

Results of collation are indicated with exclamation marks. Single exclamation marks indicate corrections to published copies, double exclamation marks, scribal errors. Question marks indicate uncertain or questionable readings. Broken portions of text and all restorations are enclosed within square brackets. Parentheses enclose items omitted by ancient scribes or explanatory material inserted by the editors. An asterisk (*) after a number means that there is some anomaly in the writing of the figure which is explained in the critical apparatus. Numbers that appear at the edge of a break where part of the number might be missing are followed by "[+x" or preceded by "x+]," and it must be borne in mind that "x" may be zero.


The translations seek to render the meaning and tenor of the texts as accurately as possible in readable, contemporary English. In the interest of clarity, the line structure of the originals has not been retained in the translation but the text has been rearranged into logically coherent paragraphs where possible. However, in lists where the original has a line-by-line structure, this has been retained.

Uncertain or conjectural translations are indicated by italics. Interpretative additions to the translation are enclosed within parentheses. All restorations are enclosed within square brackets. Untranslatable passages are indicated by dots.

Month names are rendered by their Hebrew equivalents, followed by a Roman numeral (in parentheses) indicating the place of the month within the lunar year. Personal, divine and geographical names are rendered by English or Biblical equivalents if a well-established equivalent exists (e.g., Esarhaddon, Nineveh); otherwise, they are given in transcription with length marks deleted. The normalization of West-Semitic names generally follows the conventions of Zadok West Semites. West Semitic phonemes not expressed by the writing system (/o/ etc.) have generally not been restituted in the normalizations, and the sibilant system follows the NA orthography.

The rendering of professions is a compromise between the use of accurate but impractical Assyrian terms and inaccurate but practical modern or classical equivalents.

In the measures of capacity, has been consistently rendered as "litre," not to indicate an exact equivalent, but to suggest a measure of approximately this size.

Critical Apparatus

The primary purpose of the critical apparatus is to support the readings and translations established in the edition, and it consists largely of references to collations of questionable passages, scrib mistakes corrected in the transliteration, and alternative interpretation or restorations of ambiguous passages. Restorations based on easily verifiable evidence (e.g., parallel passages found in the text itself) are generally not explained in the apparatus; conjectural restorations only if their conjectural nature is not apparent from italics in the translation. Collations given in copy at the end of the volume are referred to briefly as "see coll." with the contributor of the collation indicated.

The critical apparatus does contain some additional information relevant to the interpretation of the texts, but it is not a commentary. Comments are kept to a minimum, and are mainly devoted to problems in the text, elucidation of lexical items or Akkadian expressions necessarily left untranslated. The historical information contained in the texts is generally not commented upon.

Glossary and Indices

The glossary and indices, electronically generated, generally follow the pattern of the previous volumes. The glossary contains all lexically identifiable words occurring in the texts with the exception of suffixless numbers 1-99. Again, it is pointed out that the variants to the composite text of no. 69 are not included in the glossary. The references to professions attached to the index of personal names have been provided by a computer programme written by Simo Parpola; it is hoped that these will be helpful in the prosopographical analysis of the texts, but it should be noted that the programme omits certain deficiently written professions and the references are accordingly not absolutely complete.

Logograms without a known Akkadian equivalent are included in alphabetical order in the glossary written in small capitals. The glossary and indices were prepared by the editors.

61 Excluding the schedules (see above, pp. XIII-XIV).

62 Exceptions arc nos. 32-34 (K 17210, K 14444 and K 6197) which duplicate previously published texts (a copy of the date line of no. 34 has been provided in the collations) and K 20353, a small fragment joined to no. 27 by T. Kwasman and which contains no significant information.

Laura Kataja & Robert Whiting

Laura Kataja & Robert Whiting, 'On the Present Edition', Grants, Decres and Gifts of the Neo-Assyrian Period, SAA 12. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 1995; online contents: SAAo/SAA12 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 [http://oracc.org/onthepresentedition/]

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