The legacy of the Assyrian empire consisted chiefly in the administrative structure inherited by its successors, and hence Assyriologists have always been conscious of the interest of the “army” of officials who appear in the correspondence and administrative documents found in the palaces of Assyria. In reconstructing this system the views of the Assyrian scribes themselves are obviously worthy of our careful attention, and a long-known “practical” list of officials, etc. from Kouyunjik (K 4395, hereafter “the Kouyunjik list”) has been joined by two copies of a longer list from Sultan Tepe (STT 382 to 385, hereafter “the Sultan Tepe list”). Although parts of each are missing, and their arrangement is far from consistent, both lists give an invaluable idea of how the scribes viewed the different professions and appointments, and, within their own limits, they are obviously meant to give a fairly comprehensive account. Moreover, and this is of particular importance, they are lists of Assyrian terms, composed freshly from Assyrian sources and not dependent on the Babylonian lexical canon. Hence there is a reasonable expectation that they will give a picture of the situation at about the time in which we are interested, and we may even be allowed to hope that the lists may have been “up-dated” in the course of their existence to allow for changes. This hope does indeed seem to be fulfilled by the individual entries, which coincide very well with the repertoire of titles and their Schreibweise as these are known from 7th century documents. In this article devoted to a single title, šaknu, we shall have frequent occasion to refer to these practical lists, underlining their value to the “Neo-Assyriologist”.
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