Aram Damascus

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Aram Damascus was an Aramaean state around Damascus in Syria, from the late 12th century BCE to 734 BCE.

Sources for this state come from texts that can be divided into three categories: Assyrian annals, Aramaean texts, and the Hebrew Bible.

The largest portion of the textual sources come from Assyria. There are, however, often several copies of the same texts. Most of the texts are annals from the Assyrian kings Shalmaneser III, Adad-Nirari III, and Tiglath-Pileser III. The texts mention Aram-Damascus from an Assyrian perspective, but are in many ways informative of the strength of the state, and give us several names of its rulers.

Aramaean royal inscriptions are rare, and only one royal stele from Aram-Damascus proper has been identified — the Tel Dan Stele. Other sources in Aramaic that shed light on the history of Aram-Damascus include two "booty inscriptions" from Eritrea and Samos, and the Zakkur stele.

The Hebrew Bible gives more detailed accounts of Aram-Damascus' history, mainly in its interaction with Israel. For instance, there are texts of the Bible mentioning David's battles against Aramaeans in southern Syria in the 10th century BCE. () In contrast, the sources for the early history of Aram-Damascus are almost nonexistent. In an annal dating to Tiglath-Pileser I (1114-1076 BCE), we learn that Aramaean people have begun settling in the southern half of Syria.

The first reliable data can be found in the 9th century BCE when Aramaean, Assyrian, and...
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