Amarna Letter EA 271
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Amarna Letter EA 271
EA 364, from Ayyab, equivalent-sized Amarna letter (dramatically different in style).
(very high-resolution expandable photo)

Amarna letter EA 271, titled: "The Power of the 'Apiru,"[1] is a moderately, short, tallish, rectangular clay tablet letter, approximately 3 in wide x 4 in tall, from Milkilu the mayor/ruler of Gazru (Gezer), of the mid 14th century BC Amarna letters.

The Canaanite city-states were visited by the scribes, with short 'status reports' sent to the Pharaoh (King) reporting on city or regional accounts, for example the troubles with the habiru, or other external affairs. Many of the Canaanite letters are short, with some nearly identical phraseology of words, as well as the layout of the individual clay tablet letters. Milkilu authored EA 268 through EA 271. Amarna letter EA 270-(29 lines) is nearly identical in shape to EA 271-(27 lines), with the beginning lines of the obverse, nearly identical in wording, and spacing.

The Amarna letters, about 300, numbered up to EA 382, are a mid 14th century BC, about 1350 BC and 20-25 years later, correspondence. The initial corpus of letters were found at Akhenaten's city Akhetaten, in the floor of the Bureau of Correspondence of Pharaoh; others were later found, adding to the body of letters.

Letter EA 271 (see here [1]; or here: [2]-(EA 271)), is numbered VAT 1531, from the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin.

The letter

EA 271: "The Power of the 'Apiru"

EA 271, letter five of five. (Not a linear, line-by-line translation, and English from French.)[2] (Obverse & Reverse):

Obverse See here: [3]; Line drawing, see here: [4]

(Lines 1-8)--Say to the king, my lord, my god, my Sun: Message of Milkilu, your servant, the dirt at your feet. I fall at the feet of the king, my Lord, 7 times and 7 times.
(9-16)--May the king, my lord, know that the war against me and against ?uwardata is severe. So may the king, my lord, save his land from

Bottom & Reverse See here: [5]; Line drawing, see here: [6]

the power of the 'Apiru. ( -me? SA.GAZ.ME? )
(17-27)--O[th]erwise, may the king, my lord, send chariots to fetch u[s] lest our servants kill us.
Moreover, may the king, my lord, ask Yanhamu, his servant, about what is bein[g] done in his [l]and.--(complete EA 271, only minor, restored lacunae, lines 1-27)

Akkadian text

The Akkadian language text: (through line 12, obverse)[3]

Akkadian: –

(Line 1)--a-na 1.(di?)-LUGAL EN-ia–.–(To 1. King-Lord-mine...)
(2)--dingir-me?-ia (d)UTU-ia–.–.–((of) gods(pl)-mine, Sun-god-mine)
(4)--um-ma 1.(di?)-MiL-Ki-Li, ARAD-ka—('message thus' 1. Milkilu, Servant-yours...)
(5)--ep-ri ?a GÌR-ME?-ka–.–(dirt [which at] feet(pl)-yours)
(6)--a-na GÌR-ME? LUGAL EN-ia–.–.–(at feet(pl), King-Lord-mine)
(7)--dingir-me?-ia (d)UTU-ia–.–.–.–((of) gods(pl)-mine, Sun-god-mine)
(8)--7-?u 7-tá-a-an am-qut–.–.–.–(7 times [and] 7 times (again)...--...I bow(-ing)) ! (am bowing)
(9)--yi-de LUGAL be-li–.–.–.–(Know! ...King-Lord)
(10)--i-nu-ma da-na-at–.–.–.–(Now (now, at this time) Severe-)
(11)--nu-kúr-tu UGU-ia–.–.–.–(severe-Warfare "upon"(us) !.. )
(12)--ù UGU 1.(di?) ?u-Wa-Ar-Da-Ta–.–(and upon 1.?uwardata !)
(13)--ù yi-ki-im
(14)--LUGAL be-li kur-?u
(15)--i?-tu qa-at


(16)---me? SA.GAZ.ME?
(17)--?um-ma i-a-nu
(19)--LUGAL be-li GI?-GIGIR-me?
(20)--a-na la-qé-nu la-a
(21)--ti7-ma-ha-sú-nu ARAD-?u
(22)--ù ?a-ni-tam
(24)--LUGAL be-li [...]
(25)--1.(=di?) iYa-aN-Ha-Ma-(Yanhamu)
(26)--a-na ?a yu-pa-?u
(27)--i-na kur-?u

The Habiru/'Apiru


The mention of the Habiru shows the conflict of the time, as the takeover of city-states or regions by the Habiru. The map shows various cities and regions, and their respective dealings with the Habiru. (There are only 3 letters from Labaya of ?akmu/Shechem.) The next closest mention of the Habiru is from the Jerusalem letters of Abdi-Heba, directly south at Jerusalem, letters EA 286, 287, 288, 289, and EA 290.

Spellings for Habiru in the Amarna letters

See also

External links


  1. ^ Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 271, The Power of the 'Apiru, p. 317.
  2. ^ Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 271, The Power of the 'Apiru, p. 317.
  3. ^ Photo, EA 271: Obverse Archived April 16, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, CDLI no. 271040 (Chicago Digital Library Initiative)
  • Moran, William L. The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, 1992. (softcover, ISBN 0-8018-6715-0)
  • Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Parpola, Simo, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, c 1997, Tablet I thru Tablet XII, Index of Names, Sign List, and Glossary-(pp. 119-145), 165 pages.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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