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Letter from Išbi-Erra to Ibbi-Suen about the purchase of grain

1-2. Say to Ibbi-Suen, my lord: this is what Išbi-Erra, your servant, says:

3-6. You ordered me to travel to Isin and Kazallu to purchase grain. With grain reaching the exchange rate of one shekel of silver per gur, 20 talents of silver have been invested for {the purchase} {(2 mss. have instead:) ……} of grain.

7-12. I heard news that the hostile Martu have entered inside your territories. {I entered with 72,000 gur of grain} {(1 ms. has instead:) 72,000 gur of grain was brought} -- the entire amount of grain -- inside Isin. Now I have let the Martu, all of them, penetrate inside the Land, and one by one I have seized all the fortifications therein. Because of the Martu, {I am unable to hand over} {(2 mss. have instead:) I am unable to make ……} this grain for threshing. They are stronger than me, while I am condemned to sitting around.

13-16. Let my lord repair 600 {barges} {(2 mss. have instead:) boats} of 120 gur draught each; 72 solid boats, 20 ……, 30 ……, placing (?) 50 …… and 60 (?) boat doors on the boats (?), may he also …… all the boats.

17-21. {Let them bring it up} {(1 ms. has instead:) May he make them go out} by water, along the Kura and the Palištum watercourses, to the grain heaps (?) that are spread out. And I myself intend to {go (?)} {(1 ms. has instead:) come out} and meet them (?). The place there where the boats moor will be under my responsibility. Let them load up huge amounts of grain (?), the entire amount of grain; it should reach (?) you.

22-23. If you have not got enough grain, I myself shall have grain brought in to you.

24-28. My lord has become distressed about the battles in Elam. But the Elamites' grain rations have quickly been exhausted, so do not slacken your forces! Do not fall head first into their slavery, nor follow at their heels!

29-30. I have at my disposal enough grain to meet the needs of your palace and of {all the cities} {(1 ms. has instead:) all your cities} for 15 years.

31-33. {That I should guard for you} {(2 mss. have instead:) To guard} {(1 ms. adds:) the city of} Isin, and Nibru: {let it be my responsibility.} {(1 ms. has instead:) my lord, is this my responsibility?} My lord should know this! (end of shorter version)

34-37. My lord, I am without fear! I will not delay (?); I will not …… in their midst. Each one of Isin's and Nibru's gods may search there for faces (?); I have indeed looked for them. Their widespread people, their population ……, huge ……, are indeed healthy; the true seed is {indeed great there} {(1 ms. has instead:) precious}.

38-41. Urim, your holy city, rivalling heaven and earth, whose great prince you are ……, of which the appearance is precious, which dispenses the divine powers and makes the foundations (?) and the plans firm both in the south and in the uplands, will surely escape from the grasp and will cry …….

42-45. Elam, a raging dog, a destroyer, will not defile E-kiš-nu-ĝal, the sanctuary which covers heaven and earth, which has no ……. Its protective spirits shall not be split apart! My lord: the loudest roarer (?), the runner, has taken flight (?)!

46-51. May An, Enlil and Enki, who have loved Ibbi-Suen from the womb, look upon him approvingly. …… is indeed placed there; they have changed (?) their appearance. With the …… and (?) the city-gates of Urim opening, they cry "Aee!" If …… says, "Who is my lord?" -- You are the king to whom Enlil has given …… no rival!

52-55. Your heart should not fret over this, ……! For …… has avenged (?) ……; he has made its foundations firm for you. Let your heart be glad over …… and (?) its seed. As long as my lord is alive, he will exercise kingship over Urim.

56-58. Do not suddenly reject anything that is sent as a message (?) to my lord! Before Utu, I will not change my word (?).

Revision history

25.v.2001-31.v.2001: EFH, editor: adapting translation
20.x.2001: JAB, editor: proofreading
24.x.2001: GC, editor: SGML tagging
02.xi.2001: ER, editor: proofreading SGML
02.xi.2001: ER, editor: web publication GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion

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