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3. Cross-examining the Assyrian Witnesses to Sennacherib’s Third Campaign: Assessing the Limits of Historical Reconstruction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter cross-examines the Assyrian witnesses to the events in the West in 701 B.C.E. It discusses the Assyrian witnesses, which is the annal inscription on the Rassam Cylinder, dated to the spring of 700 B.C.E. and the first to report Sennacherib's third campaign. The latest recension of the Sennacherib annals composed in 691-689 B.C.E., represented by the Taylor Prism, is the one most often quoted in modern studies, very likely because of its discovery at the birth of Assyriology in the mid-nineteenth century. By the end of the eighth century B.C.E., it was common practice among the royal scribes to appropriate reports from the early recensions and place them ahead of the newer material in the later recensions. The chapter analyses the contrasting behavior of Assyria's western vassals, the kings and city officials in Phoenicia, Philistia, Judah and Transjordan, upon the appearance of Sennacherib in their territories.

Keywords: Assyrian witnesses; Rassam Cylinder; Sennacherib's third campaign; Taylor Prism

10.1163/9789004265622_004
/content/books/b9789004265622_004
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