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Parades (ASOR) and Enneateuch (SBL): The Creation of the Hebrew Bible

Note: This post is part of a series on the ASOR and SBL conferences in November 2018


Who doesn’t love a parade? Everybody loves a parade. As it turns out parades or processions provide an alternate approach to the creation of the Hebrew Bible from the Persian-period fixated ivory-tower scribal elite approach. The Israelite processions exhibit the oral and performance attributes of the Hebrew Bible generally obscured by the text-based biblical scholars.

Let’s examine the ASOR presentation and see what it has to offer in contrast to the text-based presentations at the SBL conference.

Performance Art and the Body in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean
Laurel Hackley (Brown University), “Memory and the Body in Egyptian Festival Processions”

This paper addresses the body as an object and an actor in Egyptian festival processions. Public festival processions were spectacles made of bodies, as it was the massing and movement of bodies that created the event. Both spectators and participants played an active role in the creation of this event; the event in turn played a role in maintaining a ritual cycle that many different kinds of people could participate in. Embodied and sensory participation in cyclically repeating festival processions would have created personal memories. The particulars of individual bodily experience, locale, and time of year would have connected personal histories to mythological events and other narratives. This would have been reinforced by the performances associated with festival processions, in which mythological episodes were apparently reenacted. A particular focus of this paper is the role of costumed, foreign, or otherwise singular bodies. An additional investigation will be made into the role of dance and gesture in festival processions, and the existence of professionals or specialists who participated in these events. The paper draws on evidence from reliefs, texts, and material culture.

According to Hackley, Egyptians witnessed repeated parades throughout their life. These rituals aided the people to “buy” into the culture. They provide comfort to the people. She even used the term “punctuated” as the “punctuated equilibrium” sessions at the same time did (Lessons from the ASOR Conference: Punctuated Equilibrium and the Writing of the Hebrew Bible). In this case, she was referring to how the rituals punctuate time in an annual cycle. The Egyptians had monthly festivals. There could be processions on land as well as on water. They could include musicians and dancers. The national ones might have foreigners such as Nubians and Libyans to show the power of the king. Such events provided a sensory experience with the smells of food and incense and the sounds of music. As here in the United States, we approach our Roman-numeral numbered Superbowl and halftime show in February, we should be aware of the annual rhythm of our sports events in creating memories from generations to generations at the high school, college, and professional level. And where would the Summer Olympics be without the opening procession of nations following the arrival of the flag that had been carried by foot from ancient Greece?

When young William Thomas Albright (not yet “Foxwell”) was growing up in Chile, he experienced a multitude of processions and festivals. They happened to be Catholic. By coincidence when his family returned to the United States, they docked around July 4. His first impression as he absorbed the festivities of the American Independence Day was that the country was Catholic. He had to learn the ways of the country. It would seem that the Methodist father of biblical archaeology never embraced the importance of processions in ancient Israel – they were for Catholic/Baal societies and not the nomads who became Israel and were made of better stuff.

Biblical scholars certainly are aware of the parade. They know of the Egyptian festivals especially for a new king or in military triumph. The most famous of all such processions is the akitu most prominently associated with Babylon but observed elsewhere in Mesopotamia as well. Biblical scholars also frequently comment on the Babylonian influence on the formation of the Hebrew Bible. Somehow though the influences are limited to textual ones and not the akitu. Part of the reason for the minimization of the influence of the akitu on Israelite culture is because of the key person in the New Year festival: the king. For an akitu to be held or for there to be an Israelite equivalent, there has to be a king. There also had been a carried object. The idea of a charismatic king instituting an Israelite akitu with a carried object based in Jerusalem is unacceptable.

However as it turns out the Hebrew Bible does contain processions which were part of a royal-led Israelite akitu New Year fall festival. The processions just are not linked together in scholarship so the Israelite akitu remains hidden. Now consider these texts below as if they were part of a royal procession and not the creation of an ivory-tower scribal elite. And while Brown referred to mythical events in her presentation, historical events may be presented as well. The celebration of the akitu could call to mind Nebuchadnezzar I’s restoration of the statue of Marduk.

Into the Wilderness

And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, Yahweh, and let thy enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.” And when it rested, he said, “Return, O Yahweh, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.” (Num. 10:35-36)

The first part of the New Year processions occurred when the statue of Marduk left the temple and was brought out into the wilderness. In the ancient Israelite version, the king performing in the role of Moses led the ark and the people from Zion into the wilderness, an area around Jerusalem. Perhaps they marched to the very site David had purchased from Araunah where the Jebusites once had conducted their own ceremonies (II Samuel 24:18-25). Whether a new song was composed or an existing song was incorporated into the new holiday is a separate matter.

In the wilderness, the land of chaos, there were challenges both natural and human to be overcome. The foremost battle between the forces of cosmos and chaos in the Israelite akitu was a human affair – the people who challenged the authority of Moses, the role being performed by the king. Moses and the king were triumphant in this wilderness showdown. The disruptive forces of chaos were vanquished.

These wilderness stories of cosmos and chaos are important. They became a battlefield where different political factions (scribal priests) could battle for power through supplements to the original performed story. Even when the Israelite akitu was no longer performed the texts still provided a venue through which internal political battles could be fought. In the United States similar such battle are fought again and again through the stories, parades, and celebrations of Thanksgiving, the American Revolution, and the Civil War.

Marking Turf

Untangling the layers in Josh 6 is beyond the scope of this blog. Suffice it to say, the historic kernel of the performance occurred when the king in the role of Joshua led the people around the city of Jerusalem. There was music and the people shouted. Everybody has a good time save perhaps for the people performing as Jebusites!

What is accomplished in the Jericho story performed on and around the walls of Jerusalem?

1. With the procession of the ark of Yahweh, the king marked the turf of his kingdom. In this regard, Jerusalem represented all the Canaanite cities that had remained loyal to Egypt, were anti-Israel, and only recently had become part of the kingdom of Israel under David.

2. The people marching included representatives of valor from all the tribes of the kingdom. This meant the tribes which had been part of Merneptah’s Israel and those who had been part of the Israelite-led anti-Egyptian NATO alliance in Iron I (see Deborah at the SBL Conference). They had only joined Israel when they went to Hebron to recognize David as their king. One is reminded here of the United States Independence Day parades on July 4 in the communities throughout the land where every civic/ethnic/religious/business group has a float signifying a connection to the foundational event of the country.

3. The festival differentiated between the Canaanite people, the 99%, symbolized by the queen performing on the city walls as Rahab and costumed as Asherah, and the Canaanite city rulers. The former were welcomed into the kingdom, the latter were not.

In 1783, when the British left New York after seven years of occupation and two years after the Battle of Yorktown, they pulled a fast one on the Americans. To prevent the Americans from raising the American flag at Bowling Green at the southern end of Manhattan, they greased the flagpole. A Dutch-American then went to the equivalent of a hardware store, got spikes for his shoes, and climbed the flagpole with the American flag. That event was commemorated in the annual Evacuation Day holiday which survived in New York until World War I when England became our ally. Recently the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (I am on the Board) successfully petitioned the New York City Council to rename the area “Evacuation Plaza.” We do not climb the flagpole but we do annually raise a 13-star flag for the 13 colonies which had become states.. I wonder who climbed down the Jerusalem wall as part of the Israelite festival and how long the scarlet cord remained displayed.

Establishing the Kingdom of Yahweh

The final step in the Israelite akitu was the established of the kingdom of Yahweh. The forces of chaos had been defeated and order was pronounced. As the song sang going into the wilderness said, Yahweh returned to rest. The specific action meant was the returning of the ark of Yahweh to Zion. Untangling the layers of the Ark Narrative is beyond the scope of this blog. The fight over who was responsible for its loss to the Philistines was part of the political infighting among the priesthoods/political parties. For the procession, the action was straightforward. David danced and the people celebrated.

The recognition of a royal performance including the people and the men of valor from all the tribes of the kingdom provides an alternative to the text-based debate on the Tetrateuch/Pentateuch/Hexateuch/Enneateuch division of the biblical text. The performed story of going forth from the garden to planting the ark of Yahweh at Zion provides a better start and finish point for the royal drama, the Israelite akitu. I call this narrative and performance the King David Bible (KDB), the seven-day fall New Year festival with King David in the lead male roles, Queen Bathsheba in the lead female roles, and Morgan Freeman as the voice of both God and the narrator who performed on stage as well at times (Is Morgan Freeman God? What Do Biblical Scholars Think?). O.K., it was really Abiathar! To understand the genius of David it is necessary to determine the political situation in the land of Canaan when he created his kingdom and to identify his writings and performances. Otherwise all you are left with is that Abraham Lincoln was a chieftain in the small chiefdom of Washington and who never wrote anything.

Is Morgan Freeman God? What Do Biblical Scholars Think?

Morgan Freeman as God in Bruce Almighty ( Universal Pictures 2003)

Is Morgan Freeman God? The human Morgan Freeman performed in the role of the Almighty in Bruce Almighty. The audience accepted him in that role based on his stature, mien, and voice. To the best of my knowledge, at no time did the audience ever think that Morgan Freeman actually was God. As far as I know, the audience knew he was a human being performing in that role.

What will American historians three thousand years from now think? To some extent any analysis will depend on the data available. Ironically, three thousand years from now a Mesopotamian tablet may be more accessible than an Apple tablet. Exactly what information will be retained about Freeman from both on and off the screen cannot be known. There is more to a person’s life than the official record. Of course, we will never know what people three thousand years from now will think about Morgan Freeman being God and what they interpret that to mean for the values and beliefs of the American people.

With biblical scholars we do have the opportunity. We can examine what biblical scholars today and in the recent past think about the values the ancient Israelites had. We can examine what biblical scholars have said and written about the beliefs of those people. What do biblical scholars today claim about ancient Israel’s “Bruce Almighty” being god or what they think the Israelites believed about the deity?

The answers come from the consensus scholarship about certain events in the biblical narrative where the Lord appears to have a human form. These passages include:

1. The Garden of Eden where the deity walks in the garden in the cool of the day and speaks to the human man and woman as if he is right there with them (Gen. 3:8)

2. The Flood story which ends with the Lord smelling the savor of the sacrifice offered by Noah (Gen. 8:21)

3. The Tower of Babel story where the Lord descends from heaven after conversing with his heavenly colleagues (Gen. 11:5-7)

4. The Abraham stories where God joins him in his tent for a meal and later walks and converses with him before rendering a decision on what to do about Sodom (Gen. 18)

5. Jacob wrestling with the Lord (Gen. 32:24-30).

These episodes among some others have caused biblical scholars to postulate that early Israel had an anthropomorphic religion. In other words, much as we imagine the way ancient Greeks thought of Zeus, the biblical scholars propose that early Israel thought of Yahweh. The god had a physical form in the shape of a male human being. Only in time according to this view did Israel, like the Greeks, evolve to a more cosmic and less physical belief in God. Therefore these incidents like the ones cited above are vestiges from an early primitive time of Israelite belief.

Playing God

The missing ingredient in this interpretation is performance, the recognition that human beings performed in the role of the Lord or as the voice of the Lord in ancient times. It is not as if biblical scholars are unaware that performances did occur then. The annual Mesopotamian new year festival called the akitu frequently appears in biblical scholarship especially in connection with the beginning of the Book of Genesis. This eleven-day festival of thanksgiving involved the king, a female either a high priestess or a queen who also might be a high priestess, a statue of the deity (not an ark), a temple, and a procession. During the course of the celebration the statue was moved about to represent its triumph over the forces of chaos and the restoration of order for the coming year when it was returned to its sacred setting.1

As one might expect, Egypt was a society of public performances, too.  They included the king, a statue, and processions as well. The word for “read” in Egyptian, šdj, refers to oral performance. Even when statues of deities were involved it is presumed that divine speech was pronounced by a human priest of the deity. The lector priest was regarded as the mouth or voice of the deity but was not a god himself. He remained human. As part of the performance, priests wore masks, human kings and queens dressed in divine regalia, and people danced. In addition, there were storytellers who educated and entertained local populations. Of course, if someone were too good a speaker, the individual might be considered a threatening rabble-rouser who needed to be punished!2

One should recognize that although these performances may be the distant ancestor to Bruce Almighty, they served a different purpose. Once upon a time, theater was sacred.

The oldest theatres are all situated in the vicinity of a sanctuary, and in the temenos of it…In each theatre an altar was set up in the middle of the orchestra, on which a sacrifice was made before and after the ceremony. The performance took place…only once a year, on the festival day of the god worshipped in the temple….The theatre was a sacred place, the actor were sacred persons, their action was sacred action, and it was performed at a sacred time.3

Typically, these performances involved the king, a priest, and possibly a sacred marriage of some kind ensuring the fertility of the land for the coming year.

It’s not as if biblical scholars are unaware of the concept in the Israelite religion of a human being speaking in the name of deity without actually being divine. For example, David inquiries of the Lord and hears the answer through the mouth of Abiathar.

1 Samuel 23:9 David knew that Saul was plotting evil against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then said David, “O Yahweh, the God of Israel, thy servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account. 11 Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as thy servant has heard? O Yahweh the God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant.” And Yahweh said, “He will come down.” 12 Then said David, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And Yahweh said, “They will surrender you.”

1 Samuel 30:7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 And David inquired of Yahweh, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.”

How would the audience have understood how Yahweh spoke to David? It wasn’t through a dream. There should be no doubt that the audience understood Abiathar as the one speaking the words of the Lord to David in his capacity as the high priest of the Levites, as the keeper of the ephod who brought it into the presence of David when he wished to inquire of the Lord.

Indeed, the prophet tradition in the Israelite religion is of prophets speaking in the name of the deity without being divine themselves. Generally these prophetic utterances are to the king. In the biblical narrative, it begins with Moses speaking to a foreign king. It resumes once Israel has its own king with Saul and includes such luminaries as Samuel, Abiathar, Ahijah, Elijah, Elisha, and Micaiah before prophets begin to get books of their own in the 8th century BCE.

With this background in mind, let’s consider another way how the prophets may have communicated the words of the Lord to audiences larger than the king alone. Two primary methods are oral storytelling and a staged performance. Oral storytelling involves one person, the prophet alone, speaking to an audience of the people through the telling of story. A staged performance as defined here involves multiple people at a set occasion, set time, and set location like a New Year festival with the king at the capital. The examples of an alleged anthropomorphic deity in the above passages include both methods. For the remainder of this post, let us see what a prophet in an oral storytelling mode did. I will save the staged performances for a subsequent post.

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel is a finely constructed literary masterpiece. Of all the supplemental or “son stories,” in the first cycle (sons of Cain, of Seth, of God, of Noah, of Cush, and of men), the Tower of Babel is the one which is a full story in its own right. It was written from scratch and connects to previous stories. As a story, it can be analyzed as a single unit as the product of one mind in a specific point in space and time. The Tower of Babel as story affords the reader today an opportunity to go inside the mind of politically-active prophet storyteller.4

Thomas Cole, The Course of the Empire – Destruction (1836)

The artist has chosen to end the performance of the first cycle of stories with this story of his creation. It alludes to the sons of Cain who build cities (Gen. 4:17), the men in the time of son of Seth who call the name Yahweh (Gen. 4:26), and the post-Nimrod world of proper-noun peoples (Gen. 10).  This new ending depicts a world of a collapsed Mesopotamian empire and the not the exalted one of Nimrod. It reminds me of Hudson River Art school founder Thomas Cole’s The Course of the Empire paintings (1833-1836). He painted them just after New York State proclaimed itself the Empire State and just before the Panic of 1837, the first great economic collapse of the still new United States. This painter of biblical scenes like the garden and the flood, turns out to have been a pretty good prophet in the Jacksonian Age. Now think of the 12th century BCE empire of Nebuchadnezzar I with his ziggurat, creation of Enuma Elish story of origins, and the akitu festival.5 Was his kingship a model to emulate or a warning of what was to happen? Different political priesthoods had different views and used the story form to express what we would say in a blog, op-ed piece, or essay using abstract language.

Here, the prophet-artist-storyteller paints a picture at the conclusion of the first cycle of men being scattered over the face of the earth.

Genesis 11:9 and from there [Babel] Yahweh scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

The word choice is important. The author of the Tower of Babel story uses the term eretz “earth,” while a different author in the garden story uses adamah “ground.” Both phrases appear in the Flood story. Different authors have their preferred terms for the same thing. Even words like “soda” and “pop” carry different meanings today not in their literal sense but culturally. One imagines ancient audiences also were attuned to the differences between “ground” and “earth” or “ish” and “adam” for man in ways we don’t really understand today. A skilled storyteller would know which word is the right one for his audience.

A good storyteller engages the audience. When the biblical storyteller said these words to whom was he speaking?

Genesis 11:5 And Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. 6 And Yahweh said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

The scholarly consensus is that the character of Yahweh in the story was speaking to fellow divine beings, perhaps a council of gods. Such a council was considered appropriate for the pre-monotheistic early religion of Israel where divinities had human form. Indeed, if this passage had been written by a Canaanite Jebusite now part of Israel, the attribution of a council to this passage would make sense. Such texts do exist in the biblical narrative and psalms.

Now suppose instead of the writer being of Canaanite Jebusite background, it was an Israelite prophet telling the story. In this instance, we have a scenario where the prophet storyteller is doing exactly what prophet storytellers do – speaking to his audience. He and the audience are the “us” in the story. In the previous verses, the prophet storyteller had been regaling his audience with the activities of these anonymous men. Remember those men from the time of Enosh:

Genesis 4:26 To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of Yahweh.

Where was this name-calling happening? Traditionally at a structure called a temple or so the story implies without stating. The audience of that story was expected to be able to figure it out without that storyteller directly stating it. Now in this story, the prophet storyteller is inviting the audience to come and join him and see what these men had been doing: building a temple in the Mesopotamian and not simply Canaanite tradition: think of a Benjaminite/Yaminite priest foe and not Canaanite-Jebusite one. To put the scene in perspective, imagine a parent or teacher who has turned his back on wayward youths now saying to his audience, “let’s go see what those little boys were up when they thought no one was looking.” Surprise! Surprise! There goes your empire! This prophet storyteller no more admired the Nimrod storyteller than he did the Enosh storyteller. “Games up” is the message this prophet storyteller is delivering in the name of Yahweh; the empire has run its course.

The focus on the presumed council of gods and primitive anthropomorphism detracts from understanding the political purpose of the story. The prophet story-teller is calling his audience to action. He does so in the name of Yahweh. One can easily imagine such a prophet storyteller roaming the stage (threshing floor theater?) with robust physical gestures (even more so in the story of Jacob wrestling!). This vigorous performance was not simply for entertainment purposes. It was a time do something.

The battle was engaged. And another empire would bite the dust, scattered to the four winds. In ancient Israel, people voicing the word of the Lord weren’t just entertainers, they were political activists who wanted to change something in their world and expressed themselves in the story form. There is nothing primitive about their stories and the only thing anthropomorphic is the storyteller himself. Next post, let us look at staged performances involving multiple performers and see what they were up to.


1. For the akitu, see Julye Bidmead, The Akitu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2014); Thorkild Jacobsen, “Religious Drama in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Hans Goedicke and J. J. M. Roberts, eds, Unity and Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), 65–97; Jacob Klein, ‘Akitu’, in ABD I: 138–140; W. G. Lambert, “The Conflict in the Akītu house,” Iraq 25 1963: 189–190; Svend Aage Pallis, The Babylonian Akîtu Festival (København, ovedkommissionaer: A.F. Høst, 1926); Benjamin D. Sommer, “The Babylonian Akitu Festival: Rectifying the King of Renewing the Cosmos,” JANES 27 2000: 81–95; Karel van der Toorn, “The Babylonian New Year Festival: New Insights from the Cuneiform Texts and their Bearing on Old Testament Study,” in J. A. Emerton, ed., Congress Volume Leuven 1989 (Leiden: Brill, 1991), 331–344.

2. For the theatrical experience in Egypt, see John Baines, “Public Ceremonial Performance in Ancient Egypt: Exclusion and Integration’, in Takeshi Inornata and Lawrence S. Cohen, eds, Archaeology of Performance: Theater of Power, Community, and Politics (London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 261–302; Ed Bleiberg, “Historical Text as Political Propaganda in the New Kingdom,” BES 7 1985–1986: 5–13; Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), 123–139; Robyn Gillam, Robyn, Performance and Drama in Ancient Egypt (London: Duckworth, 2005); Antonio Loprieno, “The King’s Novel,” in Antonio Loprieno, ed., Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms (Leiden: Brill, 1996), 277–295; Donald B. Redford, “Scribe and Speaker,” in Ehud Ben Zvi and Michael H. Floyd, eds, Writing and Speech in Israelite and Ancient Near East Prophecy (SBLSymS 10; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000), 145–218; Anthony Spalinger, “Königsnovelle and Performance’, in Vivienne G. Callender, L. Bareš, M. Bárta, and J. Janák, eds, Times, Signs and Pyramids: Studies in Honour of Miroslav Verner on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts Charles University, 2011), 350–374; Arlene Wolinkski, Arlene, “Egyptian Masks: The Priest and his Role,” Archaeology 40 1987: 22–29. The extensive references to performances at Edfu in Ptolemaic times are excluded here.

3. B. H. Stricker, “The Origin of the Greek Theatre,” JEA 41 1955: 34–47, here 36.

4. For the Tower of Babel, see Peter Feinman, Jerusalem Throne Games: The Battle of Biblical Stories after the Death of David (Oxford: Oxbow Publishing, 2017), 103-121, 341-361.

5. Nebuchadnezzar I is an unsung figure in biblical scholarship. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, archaeologists had yet to reveal who he was in contrast to such figures as Gilgamesh, Sargon the Great, and Hammurabi. These other personages were incorporated into various hypotheses related to the history of Israel and the writing of the Hebrew Bible. Nebuchadnezzar I missed out on this formative period of exegetical formulation. For Nebuchadnezzar I, see J. A. Brinkman, A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia 1158–722 BC (Rome: Pontificium Institutum, 1968); W. G. Lambert, “The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I: A Turning Point in the History of Ancient Mesopotamian Religion,” in W. S. McCullough, ed., The Seed of Wisdom: Essays in Honor of Th. J. Meek (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964), 3–13; Tremper Longman, III, Fictional Akkadian Autobiography: A Generic and Comparative Study (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1991); Patrick D. Miller, Jr. and J. J. M. Roberts, The Hand of the Lord: A Reassessment of the ‘Ark Narrative’ (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 10–16, 77–85; J. J. M. Roberts, “Nebuchadnezzar I’s Elamite Crisis in Theological Perspectives,” in Maria deJong Ellis, ed., Essays on the Ancient Near East in Memory of Jacob Joel Finkelstein (Hamden: Archon Books, 1977), 183–187, reprinted in J. J. M. Roberts, The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Collected Essays (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2002), 83–92; D. J. Wiseman, “Assyrian and Babylonia c. 1200–1000 BC,” in I. E. S. Edwards, ed., History of the Middle East and the Aegean Region c. 1380–1000 BC (Cambridge Ancient History 2/2; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 443–481. For the legacy of Nebuchadnezzar I into Assyrian and Persian times, see John P. Nielsen, “Marduk’s Return: Assyrian Imperial Propaganda, Babylonian Cultural Memory, and the akitu Festival of 667 BC,” in Martin Bommas, Juliette Harrison and Phoebe Roy, eds, Memory and Urban Religion in the Ancient World (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), 3–32; John P. Nielsen, “’I overwhelmed the king of Elam’: remembering Nebuchadnezzar I in Persian Babylonia,” in Jason M. Silverman and Caroline Waerzeggers, eds, Political Memory in and After the Persian Empire (ANEM 13; Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015), 53–73. I have not yet had time to read the new book by Nielsen entitled The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar I in History and Historical Memory.