Translation Astronomical Diary

Astronomical Diary

A. Sachs, H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and related Texts from Babylonia. Vol. I (Vienna 1988), pp. 344-347, no. -273B. Translation below adapted.

Year Seleucid era 38, month Adar (XII) = 3. March - 1. April 273 BC

Reverse side

26’: … That month the exchange value of one shekel of silver (8.33 gr.) was: barley 36 litres; dates 90 litres; cuscuta 120 litres; cress 8 litres; sesame 15 litres; wool

27’: [x pounds]. At that time Jupiter was in Libra; Venus was in Aquarius, at the end of the month in Pisces; Mars was in Aries, at the end of the month in Taurus.

28’: That month, from the 1st  to the 5th: the river level (the babtu-level was 1 cubit (=50 cm.)) rose 1 cubit 20 fingers (90 cm.); it was 19 na (1.58m below peak level). From the 6th to the 19th <it rose> 1 cubit minus [4?] fingers; 14 na (1.17m below peak level). From the 19th to the 28th it rose ½ cubit; 11 na (0.92m below peak level). The 29th (and) the 30th

29’: it receded! ½ cubit; 14 na (1.17m) below peak level. That year, the king left behind his troops?, his wife and a notable official in Sardes to strengthen the guard. Into Syria against the troops of Egypt

30’: which were encamped in Syria, he went and the Egyptian troops withdrew before him. Month XII, day 24 (26 March 273 BC): the satrap of Babylonia, sentl. 32  much silver, clothing, goods and equipment?

31’: from Babylon and Seleucia, the royal city, and 20 elephants, which the satrap of Bactria has sent to the king, to Syria

32’: to the king. That month, the general assembled the royal army which was in Babylonia, from its beginning to its end, and he went to the aid of the king in Month I to Syria.

33’: That year, purchases in Babylon and the (other) cities were made with Greek bronze coins. That year, there was much ekketu-disease in the land.


34’: Year 37, Anti(ochus) and Seleu(cus), month XII, day 9 (23 March 273 BC): the satrap of Babylonia and the ‘appointees’ of the  king, who in year 36 had gone to Sardes (in Asia Minor) to the king,

35’: returned to Seleucia, the Royal city, which is on the Tigris. Their parchment letter came to  the Babylonians. Day 12,

36’: the Babylonians went out to Seleucia. That month, the satrap of Babylonia, madel. 38 the fields which in year 32 at the command of the king for sustenance of the Babylonians,

37’: Borsippeans and Cutheans had been given (and) the bulls, the sheep and everything else which the cities and the religious centers at the command of the king at the disposition of the citizens [of Babylon],

38’: [had received, proper]ty of the royal treasury. That year, numerous bricks for the (re)construction of the Esan[gila]  above and below Babylonia were mol[ded .. ..]

39’: [.. .. ..] (blank) in a pile of bricks.

Upper edge:

1: [That year] there was [fa]mine in Babylonia, people sold their children for silver. People died of [.. .. ..]. That year, [there was much] ekketu-disease [in the land.]

2: [Pur]chases in Babylon and the cities were made with Greek bronze coins. Year [38], Seleucus and Antiochus king[s].

3: Regular observations from month VII of year 38 to the end of month XII of year 38, Antiochus and Seleucus (being) kings.