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Kilamuwa Stela, c. 830 BC
June 18, 2016 at 11:25pm

Excerpt (2,848 years ago):

It was I, Kilamuwa...who managed to do what none of my ancestors had.

My father's kingdom was beset by powerful, predatory kings, all holding out their hands, demanding to be fed.

Kilamuwa

King Kilamuwa (c. 830 BC), from the Kingdom of Sam'al claims to have succeeded where his ancestors had failed, in providing for his kingdom. The stela shown above records his deeds.

Translation

"I am Kilamuwa, the son of King Haya'. King Gabar reigned over Ya'diya-(Sam'al) but achieved nothing.

Then came Bamah, and he achieved nothing.

My own father, Haya', did nothing with his reign.

My brother, Sha'il, also did nothing.

It was I, Kilamuwa...who managed to do what none of my ancestors had.

My father's kingdom was beset by powerful, predatory kings, all holding out their hands, demanding to be fed.

But I raged amongst them like a fire, burning their beards and consuming their outstretched hands.

Only the Danunian kings overmastered me; I had to call on the King of Assyria to assist me...

I, Kilamuwa, the son of Haya', ascended my father's throne.

Under their previous kings, the [people] had howled like dogs.

But I was a father, a mother and a brother to them.

I gave gold, silver and cattle to men who had never so much as seen the face of a sheep before.

Those who had never even seen linen all their lives I clothed in byssus-cloth from head to foot.

I took the [people] by the hand and in their souls they looked to me just as the orphan looks to his mother."

"Whoever of my sons comes after me and interferes with this inscription, may he be dishonoured among the people...

And if anyone should damage this inscription,

Let Gabar's god Ba'al-Samad destroy his head,

And let Bamah's god Ba'al Hamon destroy his head..."

Together with Reχub-ʾEl, the Lord of the Palace.