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Amarna Letters: Letter from Kadashman Enlil I, king of Babylon, to Amenhotep III


Letter from Kadashman Enlil I, king of Babylon, to Amenhotep III

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Kadashman Enlil of Babylon to Amenhotep of Egypt [....] How is it possible that, having written to you in order to ask for the hand of your daughter - oh my brother, you should have written me using such language, telling me that you will not give her to me as since earliest times no daughter of the king of Egypt has ever been given in marriage? Why are you telling me such things? You are the king. You may do as you wish. If you wanted to give me your daughter in marriage who could say you nay?




But you, keeping to your principle of not sending anybody, have not sent me a wife. Have you not been looking for a fraternal and amical relationship, when you suggested to me - in writing - a marriage, in order to make us become closer? Why hasn't my brother sent me a wife? [...] It is possible for you not to send me a wife, but how could I refuse you a wife and not send her to you, as you did? I have daughters, I will not refuse you in any way concerning this....



As to the gold about which I wrote you, send me now quickly during this summer [.... ] before your messenger reach me, gold in abundance, as much as is available. I could thus achieve the task I have undertaken. If you send me this summer [...] the gold concerning which I've written to you, I shall give you my daughter in marriage. Therefore, send gold, willingly, as much as you please. But if you do not send me gold [...] so I can achieve the task I have undertaken , why haven't you sent me any earlier willingly? After I have finished the task I have undertaken , why would I wish for gold? Even if you sent me 3000 talents of gold I would not accept them. I would return them and would not give you my daughter in marriage.

Sources: After a French translation by Claire Lalouette, Thbes ou la naissance dun empire, Fayard, Paris 1986

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