Amarna Letters: Letter by Ashur-Uballit

Letter by Ashur-Uballit

EA 16

To Napkhororia [1], Great King, king of Egypt, my brother, thus speaks Ashur-uballit [2], king of Assyria, Great King, your brother: may well-being reign over you, your house and your land!

I feel very pleased after having seen your envoy. This is felt, in truth... before me. I have sent you a beautiful royal chariot, two white horses, an unfurnished chariot and a beautiful stone seal as gifts. Of the Great King... it is said: The gold is in your land like the dust; Why is there .... in your eyes? I have begun a new palace, and I want to have it ready soon. Send me as much gold as is required for its decoration and for what is needed.

When my father, Ashur-nadin-ahe, ordered his messengers to go to Egypt, they sent him twenty gold talents. And when the king of Khanigalbat sent his messengers to your father [3] in Egypt, they sent twenty gold talents to him. See, to the king of Khanigalbat [4] I am ..., but to me you have sent only a little gold, which is not sufficient, in spite of the goings and comings of my messenger. If it is your intention that a sincere friendship exist, send much gold! And you may send people on your part, and you will receive whatever you need!

Our lands are far apart, which is why our envoys must travel wisely. Those who detained your envoy were the Sutu [5], his attackers. Dead will I be until I have sent people to take the Sutu attackers... They will not detain my envoy. Why do they have to remain in foreign lands, and die in foreign lands, the messengers? If they have passed in a foreign country a part of their time, and the king has taken advantage of it, they may then remain there and die; the king has, certainly, had a gain. But if he has not had any, why do the messengers we send have to die in a foreign country? The envoys are being attacked and die in a foreign land.

[1] Napkhororia: Akhenaten Nefer-khepru-re (1350-1334)
[2] Ashur-uballit I (1363-1328)
[3] Amenhotep III (1402-1364)
[4] formerly Mitanni
[5] nomadic Semites in the service of Egypt Sources: