Urarṭu was a kingdom located to the north of Assyria. Its territory spread to the mountain areas between and around Lake Van in eastern Turkey, Lake Sevan in Armenia, and Lake Urmia in north-western Iran.[[90]] During the reign of Assurbanipal, the military conflict between Assyria and Urarṭu had ended. In this period, two Urarṭian kings, Rusâ and Sarduri III are known from the royal inscriptions.[[91]] However, only Sarduri III is attested in the correspondence of Assurbanipal; No. 78 probably to Sarduri and no. 124 from him.

In no. 78, Assurbanipal calls the king of Urarṭu his "son". The body of the letter is almost completely broken off, but there is a reference to divine sanction given to him, his search for the favour of Assurbanipal, and the word "friend." All of this suggests that the letter was written soon after Sarduri's accession. In no. 124, Sarduri asks why Assurbanipal always writes to him in irritated and angry terms. Then moving then on to the subject of lapis lazuli in Urarṭu which Assurbanipal had demanded, Sarduri explains that lapis lazuli is extremely precious to Urarṭu and the country would revolt against him if he took it by himself. He then suggests that a huge army come to take the lapis lazuli without implicating him.

90 Zimansky 2014-2016, 394-395.

91 Concerning Rusâ, see Borger and Fuchs 1996, 107-228, C VII 76-84. Rusâ sent his envoys to Arbela with gifts to inquire about Assurbanipal's well-being. The king embarrassed the envoys of the Elamite king Teumman in front of them. Since Teumman died in 653, this episode took place before or in that year. This Rusâ could be either Rusâ II or Rusâ III (PNA 3/I, 1056b-1057, nos. 2 and 3). As for Sarduri III, see Borger and Fuchs 1996, 71-72 and 250, A X 40-50.

Sanae Ito

Sanae Ito, 'Urarṭu', The Correspondence of Assurbanipal, Part I: Letters from Assyria, Babylonia, and Vassal States, SAA 21. Original publication:Winona Laka, IN, Eisenbrauns, 2018; online contents: SAAo/SAA21 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 [http://oracc.org/saao/saa21/thecontentsoftheletters/urartu/]

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