Chronicle of the Market Prices

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Chronicle of Market Prices, designated "Chronicle 23" in Grayson’s Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles,[1] its first publishing, and Mesopotamian Chronicle 50: “Chronicle of Market Prices” in Glassner’s Mesopotamian Chronicles[2] is an ancient Mesopotamian Chronicle laconically recording the cost of various commodities from the beginning of the second until the early-mid first millennium BC. The moniker is a modern designation as it had no colophon to identify it in antiquity.

The text[edit]

It is known from a single fragmentary Seleucid era copy, now held in the British Museum with reference BM 48498 (81-11-3, 1209) where only the left-hand side (6.5 x 3 cm) of a medium sized tablet remains. The surface is heavily worn, especially on the reverse, and the bottom is also broken off, consequently leaving a gap in the middle of the narrative. The text is subdivided into sections of uneven length apparently devoted to different reigns and ends halfway down the reverse.[1]:60

Providing a brief résumé of commodity prices from sometime prior to the reign of Ḫammu-rapī (ana tar-ṣi Am-mu-ra-pí, c. 1728–1686 BC, short chronology) until a period possibly as late as Nabû-šuma-iškun (c. 748 BC), it seems to have been compiled as a prologue to the pricing quoted in the Babylonian astronomical diaries, which seem to have begun immediately after this period, as it shares their phraseology.[3] Other kings whose names are discernible include Kurigalzu I or II, the twenty-first year of Marduk-apla-iddina I or II (neither king reigned that long, unless Marduk-apla-iddina II's eight-year interregnum is included),[4] Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur I or II and one whose name begins Marduk-, of whom there is a surfeit of potential candidates following Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur I but none following Nabû-kudurrī-uṣur II. Historian A. K. Grayson favors identification with the earlier two of the homonymous monarchs.[1]:61 note 7

The main products mentioned, barley (ŠE-im), dates (ZÙ.LUM.MA), sesame (ŠE.GIŠ.Ì) and wool (SÍGḪI.A) were in widespread use as commodities for exchange from the earliest of times. Their sequence follows that of the astronomic diaries,[1]:178 which also include mustard/cuscuta and cress/cardamom whose economic significance developed in the first millennium.[5]

External links[edit]

  • Chronicle of Market Prices (ABC 23) at Livius


  1. ^ a b c d A. K. Grayson (1975). Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles. J. J. Augustin. pp. 60–62, 178–179. 
  2. ^ Jean-Jacques Glassner (2004). Mesopotamian Chronicles. Society of Biblical Literature. pp. 294–297. 
  3. ^ A. K. Grayson (1984). "Königslisten und Chroniken". In D. O. Edzard. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Klagegesang – Libanon. Walter De Gruyter. pp. 88–89. 
  4. ^ J. A. Brinkman (1976). "Marduk-apla-iddina I". Materials and Studies for Kassite History, Vol. I (MSKH I). Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. pp. 251–252.  R.5.1
  5. ^ Andrew W. Lo, Jasmina Hasanhodzic (2011). The Evolution of Technical Analysis: Financial Prediction from Babylonian Tablets to Bloomberg Terminals. John Wiley & Sons. p. 6.