Babylonian Chronicles

The Babylonian Chronicles are a series of tablets recording major events in Babylonian history. They are thus one of the first steps in the development of ancient historiography. The Babylonian Chronicles were written[clarification needed in what language?] from the reign of Nabonassar up to the Parthian Period, by Babylonian astronomers ("Chaldaeans"), who probably used the Astronomical Diaries as their source.

Almost all of the tablets were identified as chronicles once in the collection of the British Museum, having been acquired via antiquities dealers from unknown excavations in the 19th century. All but three of the chronicles are unprovenanced.[2]

The Chronicles provide the "master narrative" for large tracts of current Babylonian history.[2]


Discovery and publication

The chronicles are thought to have been transferred to the British Museum after 19th century excavations in Babylon, and subsequently left undeciphered in the archives for decades. The first chronicle to be published was BM 92502 (ABC1) in 1887 by Theophilus Pinches under the title "The Babylonian Chronicle". This was followed in 1923 by the publication of the Fall of Nineveh Chronicle (ABC 3), in 1924 by Sidney Smith's publication of the Esarhaddon Chronicle (ABC 14), the Akitu Chronicle (ABC 16) and the Nabonidus Chronicle (ABC 7), and in 1956 by Donald Wiseman's publication of four further tablets including the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle (ABC 5).[3]


Numbering Systems

ABC - A.K. Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (1975)

CM - Jean-Jacques Glassner, Chroniques Mésopotamiennes (1993) (translated as Mesopotamian Chronicles, 2004)

BCHP - I. Finkel & R.J. van der Spek, Babylonian Chronicles of the Hellenistic Period (not yet published)

BM - British Museum Number


Chronicle ABC CM BCHP BM Provenanced
Dynastic chronicle (translation ) (another version of Column 5 ) 18 3 Yes
Royal chronicle of Lagaš 6
Weidner chronicle (translation ) 19 38 Yes
Early kings chronicle (translation ) 20 39,40
Tummal chronicle 7
Uruk chronicle of the kings of Ur 48
Assyrian Eponym List (2nd millennium) 8
Market prices chronicle (translation ) 23 50
Synchronic history (translation and another translation ) 21 10 Yes
Chronicle P (translation and another translation ) 22 45
Enlil-nirari chronicle 11
Arik-den-ili chronicle 12
Walker chronicle 25 46
Tukulti-Ninurta chronicle 13
Aššur-reša-iši chronicle 14
Tiglath-pileser I chronicle 15
Eclectic chronicle (translation ) 24 47
Religious chronicle (translation ) 17 51
Assyrian Eponym List (1st millennium) 9
Nabu-šuma-iškun 52
From Nabu-Nasir to Šamaš-šuma-ukin (translation ) 1 16 92502
From Nabu-Nasir to Esarhaddon 1B 17 75976
Esarhaddon chronicle (translation ) 14 18 25091
Šamaš-šuma-ukin chronicle (translation ) (another translation ) 15 19 96273
Akitu chronicle (translation ) 16 20 86379
Early Years of Nabopolassar chronicle (translation ) 2 21 25127
Fall of Nineveh chronicle (translation ) 3 22 21901
Late years of Nabopolassar chronicle (translation ) 4 23 22047
Early Years of Nebuchadnezzar chronicle (translation ) 5 24 21946
Third year of Neriglissar chronicle (translation ) 6 25 25124
Nabonidus chronicle (text and translation ) 7 26 35382
Chronographic document on Nabonidus 53
Artaxerxes III chronicle (translation ) 9 28
Cyrus cylinder 17 90920
Alexander chronicle (text and translation ) 8 29 1
Alexander and Arabia chronicle (text and translation ) 2
Diadochi chronicle (text and translation ) 10 30 3
Alexander and Artaxerxes (translation ) 4
Antiochus I and Sin temple chronicle (text and translation ) 11 32 5
Ruin of Esagila chronicle (text and translation ) 6
Antiochus, Bactria, and India chronicle (text and translation ) 13A 36 7
Juniper garden chronicle (text and translation ) 8
End of Seleucus I chronicle (text and translation ) 12 33 9
Seleucid Accessions chronicle (text and translation ) 13 34 10
Invasion of Ptolemy III chronicle (text and translation ) 11
Seleucus III chronicle (text and translation ) 13B 35 12
Politai chronicle (text and translation ) 13
Greek Community chronicle (text and translation ) 14
Gold theft chronicle (text and translation ) 15
Document on land and tithes (text and translation ) 16
Judicial chronicle (text and translation ) 37 17
Bagayasha chronicle 18
Chronicle concerning an Arsacid king (text and translation ) 19
Euphrates chronicle (text and translation ) 20

See also


  1. ^ L. W. King (1907). Chronicles Concerning Early Babylonian Kings, Vol. II: Texts and Translations. Luzac and Co. p. 145.
  2. ^ a b Caroline Waerzeggers, The_Babylonian_Chronicles_Classification_and_Provenance Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71/2 (2012), 285–298.
  3. ^ Wiseman, 1956, pages 1+2 [permanent dead link]


External links

Categories: 8th-century BC works | 7th-century BC works | 6th-century BC works | 5th-century BC works | 19th-century archaeological discoveries | Babylonia | Mesopotamian chronicles | Akkadian inscriptions | Clay tablets

Information as of: 01.07.2020 10:15:28 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License : CC-BY-SA-3.0

Changes: All pictures and most design elements which are related to those, were removed. Some Icons were replaced by FontAwesome-Icons. Some templates were removed (like “article needs expansion) or assigned (like “hatnotes”). CSS classes were either removed or harmonized.
Wikipedia specific links which do not lead to an article or category (like “Redlinks”, “links to the edit page”, “links to portals”) were removed. Every external link has an additional FontAwesome-Icon. Beside some small changes of design, media-container, maps, navigation-boxes, spoken versions and Geo-microformats were removed.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.