A new hypothesis regarding the use of formulae in the Ashurnasirpal II texts


  • Ludovico Portuese


This paper analyses the use of concluding formulae, namely blessingsand curses, in the monumental inscriptions of Ashurnasirpal II, found inKalḫu, the royal capital. The use of such formulae among the inscriptionsissued by this king is extensive. However, on examining the survivingmaterial an interesting anomaly emerges as not all inscriptions bear protectiveformulae. A few scholars have touched on this phenomenon butnone have offered an explanation. This paper aims to fill this gap by examiningthe monumental inscriptions of Ashurnasirpal II in the light ofthe architectural context in which they have been found. From this analysis,it is concluded that inscriptions with formulae were mainly confined toentrances and doorways and that they were placed there specifically tomeet a need for protection from outside.