The Cuneiform Inscription of Rusa II, King of the Kingdom of Van

The Cuneiform Inscription of Rusa IIKing Rusa II’s cuneiform inscription on a basalt obelisk relates to the construction of a water channel from the Hrazdan (Ildaruni) River, as well as sacrifices to the gods due to this event.

Rusa II (680 – 640 BC), a king of the Kingdom of Van, received a large country devastated by past conflicts. He hoped to enrich the country through expansive construction works. Many cities, roads, water pipes & channels have been built by his order. One of his most renowned water channels still bears his name.

The cuneiform inscription denotes the significance of his historical region:

To God Haldi,
Son of Argishti Rusa
Dedicated this monument.
With the majesty of Haldi,
Rusa, son of Argishti, says:
The Kuarlini field was
A virgin land,
Nothing was on it.
By the order of Haldi,
I planted this vineyard,
Created here wheat fields and gardens,
Built a new city,
Laid the Ildaruni River water channel
And called it Umeshe.
When this field of Rusa
Gets watered,
Bring one goatling
And sacrifice it to god Haldi,
A sheep to god Haldi,
A sheep to God Teisheba,
A sheep to god Shivine,
One “victim” to god Anik.
Rusa, the son of Argishti,
Who is a mighty King,
A king of the great kingdom of the world,
The king of Van,
King of Kings and king of the Tospa city,
Son of Agisthti Rusa says:
The one who breaks this inscription,
Buries it, throws into the water,
Shifts it, turns away from the sun,
Or says “destroy”,
Says to another “I comply”,
And erases my name
And writes their own,
Be they from Van or Lulur [enemy],
Let the gods Haldi, Teisheba, Shivine|
Have no mercy on them
And leave neither their name nor family
On the earth.

The Cuneiform Inscription of Rusa II, King of the Kingdom of Van
Kingdom of Van

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