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Mitto, Tonio and Novotny, Jamie (2021): 'Ashurbanipal, the King Who Is Resplendent like a Bright Light'. Gyges’ Dream in Ashurbanipal’s E Prisms Revisited. In: State Archives of Assyria Bulletin, Vol. 27: pp. 133-158 [PDF, 1MB]

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Abstract

This closer look at the extant E Prism material of Ashurbanipal, the Gyges narrative(s) in particular, reveals that the current understanding of the E Prisms needs to be significantly revised since both the Prism E₁ and Prism E₂ inscriptions very likely contain one and the same description of Gyges’ extraordinary first contact with Ashurbanipal. This new interpretation makes it clear (1) that there were (at least) three E Prism inscriptions and (2) that the Prism E₂ inscription was composed earlier than the Prism E₁ text, and not the other way around as scholars have assumed for over the last forty years. This paper will re-evaluate Ashurbanipal’s E Prisms in light of a previously unrecognized parallel in the earliest accounts of the Gyges narrative.

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