ADVICE TO A PRINCE
Source: Lambert, W. G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. From the Oxford University Press edition published in 1963, reprinted in 1996 by Eisenbrauns. For research only.
The text is written on a tablet from the libraries of Assurbanipal, and no duplicate copy has yet been found.
1. If a king does not heed justice, his people will be thrown into chaos and his land will be devastated.
2. If he does not heed the justice of his land, Ea, king of destinies,
3. Will alter his destiny and he will not cease from hostilely pursuing him.
4. If he does not heed his nobles, his life will be cut short.
5. If he doe snot heed his adviser, his land will rebel against him.
6. If he heeds a rogue, the status quo in his land will change.
7. If he heeds a trick of Ea, the great gods.
8. In unison and in their just ways will not cease from prosecuting him.
9. If he improperly convicts a citizen of Sippar, but acquits a foreigner, Shamash, judge of heaven and earth,
10. Will set up a foreign justice in his land, where the princes and judges will not heed justice
11. If citizens of Nippur are brought to him for judgement, but he accepts a present and improperly convicts them
12. Enlil, lord of the lands, wil bring a foreign army against him
13. to slaughter his army,
14. whose prince and chief officers will roam his streets like fighting-cocks.
15. If he takes silver of the citizens of Babylon and adds it to his own coffers,
16. Of if he hears a lawsuit involving men of Babylon but treats it frivolously,
17. Marduk, lord of Heaven and earth, will set his foes upon him,
18. And will give his property and wealth to his enemy.
19. If he imposes a fine on the citizens of Nippur, Sippar or Babylon,
20. Of if he puts them in prison,
21. The city where the fine was imposed will be completely overturned,
22. And a foreign enemy will make his way into the prison in which they were put.
23. If he mobilized the whole of Sippar, Nippur and Babylon,
24. And imposed forced labour on the people,
25. Exacting from them a corvée at the herald´s proclamation,
26. Marduk, the sage of the gods, the prince, the counsellor,
27. Will turn his land over to his enemy
28. So that the troops of his land will do forced labour for his enemy,
29. For Anu, Enlil and Ea, the great gods,
30. Who dwell in heaven and earth, in their assembly affirmed the freedom of those people from such obligations.
31, 32. If he gives the fodder of the citizens of Sippar, Nippur and Babylon to his own steeds,
33. The steeds who eat the fodder
34. Will be led away to the enemy´s yoke,
35. And those men will be mobilized with the king´s men when the national army is conscripted.
36. Mighty Erra, who goes before his army,
37. Will shatter his front line and go at this enemy´s side.
38. If he looses the yokes of their oxen,
39. And puts them into other fields
40. Or gives them to a foreigner, [...] will be devastated [...] of Addu.
41. If he seizes their ... stock of sheep,
42. Addu, canal supervisor of heaven and earth,
43. Will extirpate his pasturing animals by hinger
44. And will amass offerings for Shamash.
45. If the adviser or chief officer of the king´s presence
46. Denounces them (i.e. the citizens of Sippar, Nippur and Babylon) and so obtains bribes from them,
47. At the command of Ea, king of the Apzu,
48. The adviser chief officer will die by the sword,
49. Their place will be covered over as a run,
50. The wind will carry away their remains and their achievements will be given over to the storm wind.
51. If he declares their treaties void, or alters their inscribed treaty stele,
52. Sends them on a campaign or press-gangs them into hard labour,
53. Nabu, scribe of Esagila, who organizes the whole of heaven and eath, who directs everyting,
54. Who ordains kingship, will declare the treaties of his land void , and will decree hostility.
55. If either a shepherd or a temple overseer, or a chief officer of the king,
56. Who serves as a temple overseer of Sippar, Nippur or Babylon
57. Imposes forced labour on them (i.e. the citizens of Sippar, Nippur and Babylon) in connection with the temples of the great gods,
58. The great gods will quit their dwelling i their fury and
59. Will not enter their shrines.