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Groß, Melanie: The Babylonian Court during the Neo-Assyrian Period. Version 00

Abstract: This paper investigates the royal court in Babylon as well as the role of Assyrian officials active in Babylonia during the period of Assyrian domination. Although many offices at the Neo-Babylonian court are attested for the first time already during the Neo-Assyrian period (Jursa 2010), the Babylonian court of this period has not yet been studied in detail. This study examines these officials, beginning with the reign of Tiglath-pileser III, the first Neo-Assyrian sovereign to exercise direct kingship over Babylonia. During the following century we witness for the first time direct rule over Babylonia exercised by Assyrian princes acting on behalf of the king, and one of the main questions of this study is how this new situation affected the development of the local court in Babylon. I address this issue first by examining the functions of the Assyrian court officials active in Babylonia, and then by comparing their tasks with those of their counterparts in Assyria. For this task I rely especially on the state correspondence and on some Babylonian documents (the kudurrus). It is clear from studying the Babylonian court representatives that they were more involved in state affairs and military operations than their counterparts in the north, and it seems that this situation also had an effect on the function and rank of some court officials working in the Assyrian homeland, including the post-canonical eponyms.

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