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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 26


KING HYSPAOSINES AND QUEEN THALASSIA


Greek text:   IKEO 147/427
Date:   140-124 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

Hyspaosines (also called Aspasinē) was a prominent leader in Mesopotamia during the turbulent period when the Parthians were taking over control of the region. For a short time, Hyspaosines was acknowleged as the ruler of Babylon.


[A] { A Greek inscription found on the island of Bahrain. }

On behalf of king Hyspaosines and queen Thalassia, Kephisodoros, the general of Tylos and the islands, dedicated this temple to the Saviour Dioskouroi in fulfilment of a vow.

[B] { An entry in the Babylonian astronomical diaries ( 137D ), dated December 138 B.C.   Translated by A.Sachs and H.Hunger. }

. . . of the lower Sealand, the cities and canals of the gulf . . . and made them obey to his command; he imposed tribute on them, and Aspasinē, son of . . . this Aspasinē searched for a (?) sortie against the Elamite enemy, and turned the cities [and] (?) canals of the lower Sealand over to his own side, and made [(?) them obey] to his command . . . in order to complete . . . of the lower Sealand who did not obey his command . . . seized them in a revolt, took captives of them, plundered them . . . there was panic in Elam, happiness and agreement in Babylonia . . .

[C] { A cuneiform tablet found at Babylon.   Translated by T.G.Pinches. }

In the month Iyyar, the 24th day, year 185 {30 May 127 B.C.}, Aspasinē being king, Bel-lumur, director of Esagila and the Babylonians, the congregation of Esagila, took counsel together, and said thus:

Itti-Marduk-balatu, chief of the construction over the artificers (?) of the houses of the gods, scribe of Anu-Bel, son of Iddin-Bel, who formerly stood (?) at the side of Aspasinē, the king, who [(?)relieved] want in the gate of the king; lo, this is for Bel-ahe-usur and Nabu-musetiq-urri, his sons. As they find the whole of his keep, a sum (?) has been collected (?) in the presence of the aforesaid Bel-lumur and the Babylonians, the congregation of Esagila. From this day of this year we will give 2 mana of silver, the sustenance of Itti-Marduk-balatu, for their father, to Bel-ahe-usur and Nabu-musetiq-urri, from our own necessities. The amount, as much as Itti-Marduk-balatu, their father, has taken, they shall keep for his keep, and they shall give the grant for this year.

Done along with Bel-sunu ; Nur ; Muranu ; Iddin-Bel ; Bel-usur-su, the scribe of Anu-Bel, and the deputy-scribes of Anu-Bel.

[D] { Another entry in the Babylonian astronomical diaries ( 124B ), dated November 125 B.C., refers to a son of Hyspaosines. It is not clear whether this is the same son as is mentioned in F. }

. . . this son of his had silver and gold like other . . . made for the kingship; in . . . took into Babylonia and retreated and . . . Uruk entered Babylon. That month, at the beginning of the month . . . and the satrap of Babylonia from the camp of the { Parthian } king entered Seleuceia which is on the Tigris. The 16th, the satrap of Babylonia entered Babylon from Seleuceia . . . That month, Ti'mutusu { Timotheos } son of Aspasinē [went] from Babylon to Seleuceia.

[E] { A few months later, Hyspaosines appears to be an ally of the Parthians, reporting a Parthian victory. Pittit, the enemy of the Parthians, also appears in Diodorus ( 34.19 ), who calls him Pitthides. }

. . . that month, the 2nd {5th February 124 B.C.} . . . a message of Aspasinē, king of of Mesene, which he had written to the general of Babylonia, was brought near . . . was read [to the] citizens of Babylonia as follows:

In this month, on the (?) 15th, king Arsaces and Pittit, the Elamite enemy, fought with each other. The king defeated the troops of Elam in battle. Pittit . . . he seized.

[F] { A final entry in the astronomical diaries ( 123A ) refers to the actions of Thalassia after the death of her husband. }

. . . Aspasinē, king of . . . Mesene . . . the 5th day of this month he became ill and on the 9th he died {10 June 124 B.C.}. At the command of Talasi'asu his wife, the nobles . . . Afterwards, she made one small boy, his son, sit on the royal throne of his father Aspasinē . . .

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