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brutal military excursions

One of the Ebla tablets is a report from a general, campaigning against Mari - a city on the Euphrates which is also well documented from its own rather later archive of tablets, c. 1775 BC. The general's repetitive litany gives a gloomy insight into warfare at the time:

'The cities of Tibalat and Ilwi I besieged; the king of Mari I defeated; piles of corpses in the mountainous country of Angai I raised. The lands of Ra'ak, Irum, Asaldu and badul I besieged; the king of Mary I defeated; in the area of the border near Nashal piles of corpses I raised. Amar, Lalanium, and Istup-Sar, governor of Mari, I defeated; in Emar and Lalanium piles of corpses I raised. Iblul, king of Mari, and Sada in the land of Sugurum I besieged; Iblul I defeated and piles of corpses I raised' - on and on the boast continues.

Giovanni Pettinato Ebla 1991, pages 237-8

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