House of Egibi

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The House of Egibi was a family from within ancient Babylonia who were, amongst other things, involved in mercantile activities.

The families financial activities are known to archaeologists via an archive of about 1,700 clay tablets spanning five generations of the family, dating to a period from around 600 to 482 BCE. The tablets give us a glimpse of the exchange of goods within southern Mesopotamia and abroad. Many documents found in the archive show shipments of barley, dates, and other bulk items. Enterprises of this nature were financed by the house of Egibi, among other later houses from within Babylon.[1]

Familial identity[edit]

The word Egibi is a transliteration of the Sumerian e.gi-ba-ti.la, a full form used occasionally in archival records. In a text on ancestral names, Babylonian scribes equated it to Sin-taqisha-liblut, which is translated as 'O Sin (the moon god), you have given (the child), may he now live and thrive'. The families name occurs in Babylonian records at a time beginning sometime during the eighth century BCE. By the sixth century BCE more than 200 individuals are known to history who claimed to be descendants of Egibi.[2][3]

The founder of the house was thought in earlier scholarship to be an individual known called Jacob, therefore of Jewish origin (Rainey; A. H. Sayce;[4] Delitzsch [5][6] ), thought at one time being active at the earliest during the late 7th century. F. El Peiser (1897) thought the family had nothing to do with Jacob and under later reconsideration the issue with regards to Jacob is thought inconclusively proven by Wallis Budge. The family are thought instead active during the 9th century BCE (Boardman, Edward,Hammond 1991), and being proved instead Sumero-Babylonian origin not Jewish.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Members of the family[edit]

The head of the house during 528 BCE was Itti-Marduk-balatu, active in Opis during that time (Darius I began in reign during 520 BCE [15]). The inheritance of the house was divided amongst sons of the family during 508. Itti-mardu-balāțu (son to Nabū-Aẖẖē-iddin [16]) passed his inheritance to three sons. The eldest Marduk-nāṣir-apli received half, Nergel-ušēzib and Nab-(a)ḫḫē-bulliț the remainder divided between them. Marduk-nāșir-apli was presumably the head during the period 521 to 487 BCE.In the chronology of Moore and Lewis the house Egibi is contemporary with Iranu.[17][18][19][14][20][21][22][23]

Families activities[edit]

A business house of Neo-Babylonia and Achaemenid Babylonia, the earliest known of to archaeology, were involved in selling, buying and exchanging houses, fields, slaves and banking operations; as creditors , accepted deposits for safe keeping , financing international trade, and founding commercial companies. All monies the members of the family used for these purposes were from the houses' own monies rather than the members of the family instead using money which they had from deposits made by others. They accepted deposits, provided loans, paid off clients' debt, and enabled the acquisition of goods for future payment by providing credit. The family was very successful in its trade of agricultural products, which enabled it to acquire large tracts of land, and some of its members became leading officials in Babylon.[24][25][18][19][1]

The family were involved in land management sometime between 518 and 501 for the treasurer to the king.[26]

A notable ruler who helped the House of Egibi become more powerful was Nebuchadnezzar II (c. 605 BCE – 562 BCE). Nebuchadnezzar formed his military by giving people land, allowing people to possibly free up time to not farm, therefore a need for farming the land was brought up. This is where the house of Egibi came in. They were a form of property management during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar in the Neo-Babylonian period. This let the men who owned land go and fight in the military for Nebuchadnezzar's purposes.[1]

Some of members also were employed by Persian royalty (for instance Nebo-akkhi-idin [27] as judges [28]).

The Egibi archive[edit]

The archive are tablets documenting five generations of the family's life, written by its members beginning in 602 BCE and ending in 486 BCE. The earlier generations of Egibis derived their wealth from agricultural activity rather than participation in temple based employment. The Nūr-Sin (577-480 BCE) are documented in the Egibi archive.[29][30][31]

The archive was discovered sometime during the late 19th to early 20th century, the very large number of archaeological artifacts (the largest extant source from Neo-Babylonia) pertain to the firm at a time beginning during the time of Ashur-ahu-iddina (680-669 BCE).[32][33][34][35]

During the time of Theophilus G. Pinches, the known tablets related to a period 605-517 BCE.[36]

J.N.Strassmier and A.Ungnad made separate copies of various texts, including some of the Egibi archive.[37][38][39]

Pinches at some time translated at least a portion of the Egibi Tablets.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c M. Van De Mieroop. A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000-323 BC (p.282). Blackwell history of the ancient world 2nd Edition 978-1-4051-4911-2. 
  2. ^ Lambert, W.G. Cuneiform Texts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Literary and Scholastic Texts of the First Millennium B.C. pp. JCS 11 (1957): 1–14; 112, comment on col. iii line 53. ISBN 1-58839-157-4. 
  3. ^ see Tallqvist 1905: s.v.
  4. ^ giffordlectures Retrieved 2012-07-28
  5. ^ Lady Ethel Stefana Drower - By Tigris and Euphrates - Hurst & Blackett, Limited, 1923 Retrieved 2012-07-28
  6. ^ (secondary) "Friedrich" - text- Retrieved 2012-07-28
  7. ^ G Garbini citing an unknown author in History and ideology in ancient Israel 1988 - Retrieved 2012-07-28
  8. ^ A. H. Sayce - Assyria: Its Princes, Priests And People Kessinger Publishing, 30 April 2004 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1417912588
  9. ^ B Desborough - They Cast No Shadows: A Collection of Essays on the Illuminati, Revisionist History, and Suppressed Technologies iUniverse, 1 April 2002 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0595219578
  10. ^ EA Wallis Budge p.117
  11. ^ AF Rainey - A Study of Ecclesiastes (page 10 - referencing Olmstead) Concordia Theological Monthly 35 (1964) 148-57 Retrieved 2012-07-28
  12. ^ MV AeG 2: 307, quoted in Peiser 1890-98: IV 22
  13. ^ J Boardman, IES Edwards, NGL Hammond - The Cambridge ancient history. 3,2. “The” Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and other states of the Near East, from the eighth to the sixth centuries B.C., Volume 3 Cambridge University Press, 1991 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0521227178
  14. ^ a b DS Landes, J Mokyr, WJ Baumol
  15. ^ K Moore, D Lewis -The Origins of Globalization Taylor & Francis, 16 April 2009 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 0415777208
  16. ^ MT Roth - publication within the Journal of the American Oriental society (Volume 3, Number 1 (Jan-March 1991) Retrieved 2012-07-28
  17. ^ MA Dandamaev, VG Lukonin, PL Kohl - The Culture And Social Institutions Of Ancient Iran Cambridge University Press, 11 November 2004 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 0521611911
  18. ^ a b K Rhea Nemet-Nejat - Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 0313294976
  19. ^ a b RN Frye - Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, Part 3, Volume 7 C.H.Beck, 1984 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 3406093973
  20. ^ BA Levine, R Chazan, WW Hallo, LH Schiffman - כי ברוך הוא Eisenbrauns, 1999 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1575060302
  21. ^ MT Roth
  22. ^ SE Holtz - Neo-Babylonian Court Procedure BRILL, 2009 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 9004174966
  23. ^ K Moore, D Lewis - The Origins of Globalization Taylor & Francis, 16 April 2009 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0415777208
  24. ^ O Lipschitz, J Blenkinsopp - Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period Eisenbrauns, 2003 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1575060736
  25. ^ MA Dandamaev, VG Lukonin, PL Kohl - The Culture And Social Institutions Of Ancient Iran Cambridge University Press, 11 Nov 2004 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 0521611911
  26. ^ P Briant - From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire Eisenbrauns, 1 May 2006 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1575061201
  27. ^ AH Sayce -Babylonians and Assyrians: Life and Customs (The Semitic series, volume 6) Charles Scribners Son's 1900 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1440032335
  28. ^ J Boardman, IES Edwards, NGL Hammond p.273
  29. ^ JP Nielsen - Sons and Descendants: A Social History of Kin Groups and Family Names in the Early Neo-Babylonian Period ProQuest, 2008 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 054956926X
  30. ^ CE Yoder - Wisdom as a Woman of Substance: A Socioeconomic Reading of Proverbs 1-9 and 31:10-31 (Volume 304 of Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft) Walter de Gruyter, 2001 Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 3110170078
  31. ^ CF Horne - The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East: Babylonia and Assyria; Vol. 1 of 14 Parke Austin and Lipscomb inc. Retrieved 2012-07-27 ISBN 1440062471
  32. ^ DS Landes, J Mokyr, WJ Baumol - The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times Princeton University Press, 12 January 2010 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0691143706
  33. ^ SE Holtz p.13
  34. ^ The British Museum Retrieved 2012-07-28
  35. ^ EA Wallis Budge -Babylonian Life And History Cosimo, Inc., 28 February 2006 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 1596052287
  36. ^ Birch, Samuel, 1813-1885 - Records of the past : being English translations of the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments ([1873-1881]) London : S. Bagster and Sons Retrieved 2012-07-28
  37. ^ M Brosius - Ancient Archives and Archival Traditions: Concepts of Record-Keeping in the Ancient World Oxford University Press, 8 May 2003 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0199252459
  38. ^ A Berlin - Solving Riddles and Untying Knots: Biblical, Epigraphic, and Semitic Studies in Honor of Jonas C. Greenfield Eisenbrauns, 1995 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 0931464935
  39. ^ H.Bolkstein - Economic Life in Greece's Golden Age EJ Brill 1958 Retrieved 2012-07-28
  40. ^ OJ Thatcher - The Library of Original Sources: Volume I (The Ancient World) The Minerva Group, Inc., 30 June 2004 Retrieved 2012-07-28 ISBN 141021401X