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The Levant during the 18th dynasty

 
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:51 am    Post subject: The Levant during the 18th dynasty Reply with quote

Bijanv wrote:
Hi was just reading over your reply on my post about Akhenaton and I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by levantic and could you explain to me more thoroughly about the incident with Rid-Addi?

I hope you don't mind I made a topic for it, Bijanv? I'm sure there are others here as well who can contribute to this subject, seeing it's pretty complex as well. What I meant with "levantic" is everything concerning the entire region between the Sinaï-desert, the southern borders of contemporary Turkey, ancient Mesopotamia and the Arab desert. Pretty much this region: http://www.unomaha.edu/~powens/BIBLE/Maps/Labeled/LevantLabeled.jpg

This region has been majorly influenced by Egyptian rulers throughout the 18th dynasty and the New Kingdom and knew a lot of vassals, loyal to the pharaoh (more or less). One of these vassals was Rib-Addi, king of Gubla (Byblos). From the remains of Akhenaten's diplomatic documents we know this petty king wrote hundreds of pleas for help to Akhenaten, since he felt threatened by the upcoming Hittites. The letters seem to have been left unanswered though, which could mean two things: either Akhenaten just didn't care or (what's an increasingly popular theory) this diplomatic archive (known as the Amarna tablets) was merely a deposit for less important mail. The last theory actually explains best why these Amarna tablets were left behind so easily. But before this last theory was made, the ignoring of Rib-Addi's requests by Akhenaten favored the popularity of seeing Akhenaten as a king who didn't take interest in what happened to his people.

So it's pretty much a yes or no here. Either you think Akhenaten just didn't care or you think the evidence we have for that statement is only "second grade"...
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are translations of 3 Rib-addi letters on the touregypt site:
http://www.touregypt.net/amarna14.htm

There's a general discussion of the letters here:
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/letters.htm

They classified the document as follows:
Quote:
Subject Matter Tablets
Letters, or inventories attached to letters 350
Mythical or epic texts 6
Syllabaries 3
Lexical text 5
List of gods 1
Tale of Hurrian origin 1
List of Egyptian words in syllabic cuneiform & Babylonian equivalencies 1
Amuletic text 1
Uncertain 14


I had not heard of the theory that these letters were not the important ones, but if you look at the topics mentioned on the site above then that sounds plausible Smile

Plus of course the fact that they were abandoned when they left Akhet-Aten.
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Segereh
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
I had not heard of the theory that these letters were not the important ones, but if you look at the topics mentioned on the site above then that sounds plausible Smile

Plus of course the fact that they were abandoned when they left Akhet-Aten.

I thought I mentioned that when we discussed about Tut a while ago - but then again, try looking stuff up from somewhere in between 2300 messages... Embarassed

It's been said these documents were the ones, stored there for later response or just because they weren't really important. Rib-addi seems a little euhm... dramatical in his texts but that doesn't have to mean he really was a nag or something like that. It's very probable he did have serious problems with the Hittites marching in, but one of the logical questions following that, is a tricky one. What did Akhenaten do? Did he indeed just leave Rib-addi without at least preparing for war?

Now Byblos, Rib-addi's city, was not one of the smaller principalities of the Levant, but still, there were enough larger kingdoms and more important vassals in the Levantic region. It's very likely that if Rib-addi's documents wound up at the left-over Amarna archive, the letters of other (more important?) vassals from this region, facing similar problems were kept at the main archive - which didn't survive or hasn't been found yet. That would explain why we haven't got much else than Rib-addi's unanswered writings here...
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