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お願いします (10) We now know that the tablets are indeed letters―letters addressed to the king of Egypt more than 3,300 years ago, and copies of the replies he sent back. Nimmuriya is none other than Amenhotep III. And those chicken scratches are inscriptions written in the diplomatic language of the time, the language of ancient Babylon. Scholars today call the tablets the Amarna Letters―a priceless collection of letters between Egypt and its neighbors in the Near East. The mud bricks the peasant woman used for fertilizer once formed walls to an ancient Egyptian foreign office at Amarna―the House of the Correspondence of Pharaoh. And the stash of tablets was a file full of records stored there. Fewer than 400 survived outof who knows how many. The letters cover a timespan of nearly 30 years, from late in Amenhotep III's reign into his son's reign. The letters reveal greed and grievances. They detail petty fights and political alliances―30 years of diplomatic correspondence bdtween heads of state. (11) Scholars have divided the letters into two groups according to the opening words that led Budge to believe the tablets were letters. Some of the letters were between the king of Egypt and independent foreign rulers who considered themselves the king's equal. They opened their letters by addressing he king as "brother." (12) The second group of tablets begins quite differently. These senders wouldn't have dared to assume that they were brothers of the king, but merely "your servant, the dust of your two feet." The groveling continued for many lines. These chiefs of foreign lands under the king's dominion, or vassals, were so fearful of offending they don't even address the king by name, but instead called him "my king, my sun."

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(10) 我々は、今では、それらのタブレットが本当に手紙であることが分かっています ― 3,300年以上前にエジプト国王に宛てられた手紙、そして、国王が送り返した返書だったのです。 ニムリヤは、ほかならぬアメンホテップ3世です。 そして、それらの鶏のかき傷のように見えるものは、当時の外交の言語であった古代のバビロンの言語で書かれたものでした。学者は、今日、それらのタブレットをアマルナ書簡と呼んでいます ― エジプトと近東のその隣国の間で交わされた手紙の極めて貴重なコレクションなのです。 その農婦が肥料に使った日干しレンガは、かつて、アマルナにあった古代エジプトの外国事務所 ― 「ファラオの通信の館」の壁を作っていたものでした。そして、タブレットの隠し場所は、そこに収められた記録でいっぱいの保管庫だったのです。 400個足らずが、いくつあったのか誰にも分からないタブレットの中で残ったものでした。 それらの書簡は、アメンホテプ3世の治世の後期から彼の息子の治世の時期に当たる、ほぼ30年間に渡っています。それらの書簡は、貪欲と不平を明らかにしています。それらは、小さな戦いや政治同盟を詳述しています ― 30年に及ぶ国の為政者間の書簡のやり取りなのです。 (11) 学者は、それらの書簡を、バッジにタブレットが手紙であると思わせた書き出しの言葉に従って、2つのグループに分類しています。書簡のいくつかは、エジプト国王と自身を王と対等の者と考える独立した外国の統治者の間に交わされた書簡でした。 それらは、エジプト国王を「兄弟」と呼んでその書簡を書き始めていました。   (12) タブレットの第2のグループは、全く違った書き出しになっています。これらの送り主は、自分たちが国王の兄弟であると思う勇気はなかったようで、単に、「陛下の下僕、陛下の2本の脚に付いた塵」となっています。 へつらいは、何行も続いていました。国王の支配下にある外国の土地のこれらの長、すなわち、隷属者たちは、国王を怒らせることをとても恐れたので、国王に名前で呼び掛けさえせずに、その代わりに、国王を「わが国王、わが太陽」と呼びました。

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  • 日本語訳を!

    お願いします (8) Budge sipped his coffee without any hurry, knowing Grebaut would be held up at the least until the next day. And that afternoon, a dealer arrived, bringing six clay tablets with him. Were they kadim ("old")? he asked. Or jaded ("new")? Were the tablets genuine? Or were they fake? Budge writes in By Nile and Tigris, "When I examined the tablets I found that the matter was not as simple as it looked. In shape and form, and colour and material, the tablets were unlike any and I had ever seen in London or Paris, and the writing on all of them was of a most unusual character and puzzled me for hours." (9) It was while he was puzzling over the wedge-shaped markings that he was able to make out the words, "to Nimmuriya, king of the land of Egypt." Budge writes, "The opening words of nearly all the tablets proved them to be letters or dispatches, and I felt certain that the tablets were both genuine and of very great historical importance." Budge stuck to his "letter" theory despite arguments from scholars who thought the tablets were fake and arguments from scholars who had misinterpreted the markings.

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    お願いします (22) In his fervor for the Aten, Akhenaten forgot Egypt. The city of Amarna was like the royal firstborn son who took all the attention. The rest of Egypt became the second son, ignored and neglected. Egyptians outside Amarna were paying taxes to build a city they would never see, dedicated to a god they did not want. (23) Egypt's foreign subjects fell one by one to outside conquerors. The Amarna letters flooded in with pleas for help. They fell on deaf ears. One poor prince wrote at least 64 times, "Why will you neglect our land?" (24) Akhenaten had inherited an empire but left a country in decline. After his death the new capital was abandoned. The kings who followed Akhenaten demolished his temples and erased his name. Once Amarna had been stripped of stone it was forgotten and left to crumble. The sun had set on he Amarna Period.

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    お願いします (13) Throughout history, alliances have been made through marriage. Amenhotep III married several foreign princesses in the name of diplomacy. But the Amarna Letters show that Amenhotep III didn't consider these diplomatic unions a give-and-take situation. When the king of Babylon asked for an Egyptian princess, Amenhotep III flat out refused, even though he gad taken the king of Babylon's sister as a bride. The angry king of Babylon wrote, "When I wrote to you about marrying your daughter you wrote to me saying ‘From time immemorial no daughter of the king of Egypt has been given in marriage to anyone.’Why do you say this? You are the king and you may do as you please. If you were to give a daughter, who would say anything about it?" But Amenhotep III wasn't budging. Egypt did not give away princesses. (14) The marriages allied rulers, not countries. If either husband or father-in-law should die, negotiations started all over again. This letter from the King of Hatti to Amenhotep III's son, after Amenhotep III died, shows that things didn't always continue as they had in the past: "your father never neglected... the wishes I expressed, but granted me everything. Why have you... refused to send me... gifts of friendship, I wish good friendship to exist between you and md." (15) Some of the letters were sent to people close to the king and pleaded for help. This letter from the king of Mittani to Queen Tiy shows how influential she must have been, not only during her husband's reign, but also during her son's:  You are the one who knows that I have always felt friendship for... your husband... but you have not sent me yet the gift of homage... your husband, has ordered be sent to me. I have asked... your husband for massive gold statues.... But your son has goldplated statues of wood. As gold is like dust in the country of your son, why... [hasn't] your son... given them to me?

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    お願いします (1) What we know about how Egypt got along with its neighbors came to us quite by accident. In 1887 a peasant woman was poking through the ruins of an ancient city we now call Amarna. She was collecting the crumbled remains of mud bricks, which make excellent fertilizer. Digging through the rubble she came across a stash of tablets. The hunks of sun-dried clay looked more like dog biscuits a chicken had pecked than treasure, but the woman collected the unbroken ones on the off chance she could get a few small coins for them. She gathered as many as she could carry and sold them to her neighbor. The neighbor turned around and sold them for a slight profit to a local dealer in antiquities. No one knew what they were, or if they had any value. (2) Rumors of this odd discovery spread. Museum curators in the major European cities were curious. Were these tablets ancient? Were they records of some sort? Or was this just another money-making hoax? The curators sent scouts to Egypt to find out. The scouts had orders to buy as many tablets as they could if they turned out to be genuine. The British Museum sent Budge. (3) E.A. Wallis Budge knew the tablets were in the hands of native dealers, but just who those dealers were would not be easy to find out. Government officials in the Egyptian antiquities department had announced plans to seize the tablets and throw anyone connected to them in jail. The dealers weren't about to give up the tablets for nothing, and they didn't intend to go to prison either. Threats only made them stubborn. What tablets? They didn't know anything about tablets found at Amarna. The Egyptian official in charge, Monsieur Grebaut, just threatened louder. Anyone refusing to co-operate would be tortured. The dealers didn't trust anyone. Budge hoped he could draw them out. Today reputabld museums do not buy looted antiquities, but back in Budge's day that was how things were frequently done.

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    お願いします (11) Some scholars believe that Amenhotep IV was a normal-looking young man. Their theory is that the distorted human forms artists began drawing at this time were the result of a new artists style. The bodies, neither male nor female, but a bit of both, were meant to show the king as "everything." Other scholars have a different theory. They believe that Amenhotep IV was deformed by disease. They believe the long spidery fingers nd toes, the head that looks like pulled taffy, and the stick arms, full breasts and sagging belly represent a true likeness. Amenhotep IV's mummy has never been found, but if one turns up with an unusual body shape, we'll know who it is. (12) Scholars aren't sure if Amenhotep IV ruled alongside his father for a short time or not. It would have been excellent on-the-job training for the inexperienced prince. It would also have made it crystal clear to anyone who might have designs on the throne that the job was filled. From Amenhotep III's mummy we know toward the end he was fat and in poor health. Two of his teeth on the right side were abscessed. He would have been in constant pain. With Amenhotep IV ruling beside latest painkiller from Cyprus―opium. If he had packed his teeth with opium, he would not have been able to make clear-headed decisions; a co-ruler would have been not only useful, but also necessary. (13) When Amenhotep III died, embalmers used a new method. They injected tree resin and salt under the skin to plump it up nd give the body a more life like look. This innovation was the first in increasingly drastic changes that marked the reign of the rebel Amenhotep IV―a short blip in Egypt's history we know as the Amarna Period.