Salmānu-ašarēd II, inscribed mdSILIM-ma-nu-MAŠ/SAG, meaning “(the god) Salmānu is foremost,” was the king of Assyria 1030–1019 BC, the 93rd to appear on the Khorsabad copy[i 2] of the Assyrian Kinglist, although he has been apparently carelessly omitted altogether on the Nassouhi copy.[i 3]
In recent years, there has been a trend towards reading the SILIM in his name as sal rather than šul on philological grounds. He succeeded his father, Aššur-nāṣir-apli I and ruled for 12 years according to the Assyrian Kinglist and confirmed by a heavily damaged fragment of an eponym list (pictured).[i 1] Of the twelve limmu officials listed, only the names of the first two have been substantially preserved, that of Salmānu-ašarēd himself, who took the eponymy in his first year, and MU.ŠID-mu-šab-[ši]. The twelfth entry ša ar[ki si...] indicates that the limmu ‘which is after’ (the previous name) either suggesting that the original from which this list was copied was defective in this place or the gap in the office coincides with a period of turbulence.
In the Synchronistic Kinglist[i 4] he is listed beside his Babylonian counterpart, Eulmaš-šakin-šumi (1004–988 BC) of the Bῑt-Bazi dynasty, an unlikely pairing reflecting perhaps the isolation of the two kingdoms at the time. In all likelihood, he reigned concurrently with Nabû-šuma-libūr (1033 – 1026 BC) and Simbar-Šipak (1025-1008 BC), whose reigns were characterized by droughts, crop failures and incursions by Arameans, migrating under the pressure from climate change. The later king, Aššur-dān II (935 BC - 912 BC), recalled Salmānu-ašarēd’s own losses to this tribal group:
[… who] from the time of Salmānu-ašarēd, king of [Assyria, my forefather], had destroyed [people of Assyria by …] and murder, had sold [all] their [sons (and) daughters].
Another retrospective reference can probably be found in an inscription of Aššur-nāṣir-apli II, unless it refers to the earlier king by this name. It relates “I repossessed the cities of Sinabu (and) Tidu — fortresses which Salmānu-ašarēd, king of Assyria, a prince who preceded me, had garrisoned against the land of Nairi (and) which the Arameans had captured by force.”
There are few inscriptions which may be attributed for certainty to him as several may belong to the Salmānu-ašarēd who preceded him, or to one of the three who followed. Of those that can be reliably attributed, a monumental stele (number 14) from Aššur, from the Stelenreihe, "row of stelae," provides his genealogy thus permitting identification but nothing else. It reads: "Salmānu-ašarēd, great king, king of the universe, king of Assyria, son of Aššur-nāṣir-apli (I), king of Assyria, son of Šamši-adad (IV), who was also king of Assyria". A temple endowment[i 5] lists quantities of cedar balsam (dam erêni) donated by the king to the Aššur temple and its "temples" and includes the provision of a quantity of aromatics to Idiglat, the deified river Tigris. There is a long dedication inscription of Salmānu-ašarēd, II or III undetermined, to Ištar composed for the consecration of a temple.[i 6] A gold and a silver disk are inscribed with the name "Salmānu-ašarēd" and could possibly represent this king or his predecessor.
- Eponym List KAV 21, tablet VAT 11254, iv.
- Khorsabad Kinglist, tablet IM 60017 (excavation nos.: DS 828, DS 32-54), iv 6-7.
- Nassouhi Kinglist, Istanbul A. 116 (Assur 8836).
- Synchronistic Kinglist, tablet excavation no. Ass 14616c, first publication KAV 216.
- Temple endowment, KAV 78.
- KAR 98.
- Karen Radner (1998). "Der Gott Salmānu ("Šulmānu") und seine Beziehung zur Stadt Dūr-Katlimmu". Die Welt des Orients 29: 33–51. JSTOR 25683683.
- M. T. Larsen (1974). "Unusual Eponymy-datings from Mari and Assyria". Revue D’Assyriologie: 21.
- K. Lawson Younger (2007). "The LB/Iron Age Transition and the Origins of the Arameans". Ugarit at Seventy-Five. Eisenbrauns. pp. 159, 161.
- Heather D. Baker (2008). "Salmānu-ašarēd II". Reallexikon der Assyriologie: Prinz, Prinzessin - Samug, Bd. 11. Walter De Gruyter. p. 581.
- W.G. Lambert (1999). "Idiglat". In Edzard. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie: Ia – Kizzuwatna. Walter De Gruyter. p. 31.
- A. K. Grayson (1972). Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, Volume 1. Otto Harrassowitz. p. 99. §33.
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