The Geographical Coverage of the Correspondence

Geographically, the correspondence edited here encompasses areas to the south, southeast, east, and north of Assyria, from Babylonia and Dilmun in the south(east) to Raši and Elam in the east and Uraráš­u in the north. Babylonia and Elam are the most common destinations and origins of the letters. As to be expected, the destinations or origins of letters to and from Babylonia were almost exclusively the big cities, Babylon, Borsippa, Cutha, and Nippur in northern and central Babylonia, and Uruk and Ur in the south. In addition, Assurbanipal's correspondence also contains letters sent to the Sealand, as well as the regions inhabited by the people of Kissik, Bit-Ibâ, Bit-Amukani, and Gambulu. Some letters from these places are also included in the present volume.

However, out of the 161 texts edited here, the geographical settings of 56 letters are undetermined; and the destinations of 22 royal letters,[[1]] the origins of 26 letters to the king,[[2]] and the origins of the eight non-royal letters[[3]] are neither preserved nor identifiable. Letters to and from the Northwest (Anatolia), the West (coastal and inland areas), and the Southwest (Egypt) are hardly extant from the reign of Assurbanipal. The missives to and from these areas were possibly written in Aramaic on different materials such as leather, wax, or papyrus, and have not survived, or perhaps were archived in a different place.[[4]]

1 Nos. 79-100.

2 Nos. 125-130 and 132-151.

3 Nos.152-154, 156-157, and 159-161.

4 Parpola 1981, 120-121.

Sanae Ito

Sanae Ito, 'The Geographical Coverage of the Correspondence', 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 []

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SAAo/SAA21, 2014-. Since 2015, SAAo is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [] license, 2007-20.
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