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The maledictions of King Echmounazor


Echmounazor's Sarcophagus
Echmounazor's Sarcophagus

Magharat Tabloun,
V century BC,
Amphibolite,
Paris, Louvre Museum,
Department of Near Eastern Antiquities.


The engraved inscription on the sarcophagus of the king of Sidon, Echmounazor II (fifth century BC) was particularly intended as a warning against profaners and tomb robbers. There was also mention of donations of the Persian Emperor (the Lord of kings) and the construction of temples that the king and his mother were built for the gods of the city .

In the month of Bul, in the fourteenth year of the royalty of king Echmounazor king of the Sidonians, son of king Tabnit, king of the Sidonians, king Echmounazor, king of the Sidonians, said as follows:

I am carried away, before my time, the son of some days, an orphan, the son of a widow. And I am lying in this coffin, and in this tomb, in the place which I have built.

Whoever you are, of royal race or an ordinary man, may he not open this resting-place, and may he not search after anything, for nothing whatsoever has been placed into it.

May he not move the coffin in which I am resting, nor carry me away from this resting-place to another resting-place.

Whatever a man may tell thee, do not listen to him: For every royal race and every ordinary man, who will open this resting-place or who will carry away the coffin where I repose, or who will carry me away from this resting-place:

may they not have any funeral couch with the shades,
may they not be buried in a grave,
and may there not be a son or offspring to succeed to them, and may the sacred gods abandon them to a mighty ruler who rule them, in order to exterminate that royal race or man who will open this resting-place or who will take away this coffin, and also the offspring of this royal race, or of that ordinary man.
There shall be to them no root below, nor fruit above, nor living form under the sun. For I am carried away, before my time, the son of days, an orphan, the son of a widow.

For I, Echmounazor, king of the Sidonians, son of king Tabnit, king of the Sidonians, the grandson of king Echmounazor, king of the Sidonians, And my mother Amoashtart, the Priestess of Astarte, our mistress, the Queen, the daughter of king Echmounazor, king of the Sidonians: It is we who have built the temple of the gods, and the temple of Astarte, on the seaside Sidon and have placed there Astarte in High Heaven. And it is we who have built a temple for Echmoun, the holy prince, at the purpleshells River on the mountain, and have established him in High Heaven. And it is we who have built the temples for the gods of the Sidonians, in the seaside Sidon, tile temple of Baal-Sidon and the temple of Ashtart-Shem-Baal. Moreover, the Lord of kings gave us Dor and Joppa, the mighty lands of Dagon, which are in tile plain of Saron, in accordance with the important deeds which I did. And we annexed them to the boundary of the land, that they would belong to the Sidonians for ever. Whoever you are, of royal race or ordinary man,

may he not open it and may he not uncover me
and may he not carry me away from this resting-place.
and may he not move the coffin in which I am resting,
otherwise, the sacred gods shall abandon them and exterminate this royal race and this ordinary man and their offspring for ever.



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