Royal Inscription from the Palace at Nimrud



Royal Inscription from the Palace at Nimrud


883-859 BC


Neo-Assyrian Empire, Reign of Ashurnasirpal II
Northwest Palace at Nimrud
Mesopotamian, Assyrian


16 3/4 x 15 1/2 in. (42.5 x 39.4 cm)

Object Number



The excavations of Austin Henry Layard in the mid-nineteenth century at Nineveh and Nimrud in modern day Iraq gave birth to both Near Eastern and biblical archaeology. He discovered the palaces of the Assyrian kings mentioned in the Bible covered with monumental reliefs and inscriptions recording the great deeds of these fearsome rulers.

The text on this inscription, which would have decorated the palace of Ashurnasirpal II, records the praises of the Assyrian King and likens him to "a shepard of his people." The inscription in the cuneiform script reads:

The palace of Ashurnasirpal, chief priest of Ashur, the divine weapon of the great gods, the potent king, the king of the world, the king of Assyria; the son of Adadniari, the king of the world, the king of Assyria; the powerful warrior who always lived by [his trust] in Ashur, his lord; who has no rival among the princes of the four quarters of the earth; [who is] the shepherd of his people, fearless in battle, the overpowering tidewater who has no opponent; [who is] the king, the subjugator of the un-submissive, who rules the total sum of all humanity. [who is] the potent warrior, who tramples his enemies, who crushes all the adversaries; [who is] the disperser of the host of the haughty; [who is the king who always lived by his trust in the great gods, his lords; and captured all the lands himself, ruled all their mountainous district [and] received their tribute; who takes hostages, who established victory over all their lands.

When Ashur, who selected me, who made my kingship great, entrusted his merciless weapon into my lordly arms, I verily struck down the widespread troops of lulumu with weapons, during the battle encounter. As for the troops of the lands of Nariri, Habhu, Shubaru, and Nirbu. I roared over them like Adad the destroyer, with the aid of Shamash and Adad, my helper gods, [I am] the king who caused [the lands] from the other bank of the Tigris to Lebanon and the great sea, the whole of laqu, and Suhu as far as Rapiqu to submit; [who] himself conquered [the territory] from the source of the Subnat River to Urartu; [who] annexed as my own territory [the area] from the pass of Kirruru to Gilzanu, from the bank of the lower Zab to Til Bari, which is upstream from Zaban, from Til sha Abbtani to Til shs Zabdani, Hirimu, Harutu, [and] the fortresses of Karduniash. I counted as my own people [those who occupy the territory] from the pass of Babite to Hashmar. I set my resident [official]s in the lands over which I ruled [and impressed upon them] obeisance and [labor].

Credit Line

Gift of Forward Arts Foundation


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2006 - Present
Man Came This Way: Objects from the Phil Berg Collection (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1971) number 2a.|
Christie's New York, Antiquities (December 9, 2005), 53, catalogue 103.|
MCCM Newsletter, September - November 2006.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
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“Royal Inscription from the Palace at Nimrud,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed October 21, 2018,

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