ROYAL INSCRIPTION OF ITTOBAAL IV ON A MALACHITE MODEL BIREME

MS 5235
MS Short Title ROYAL INSCRIPTION OF ITTOBAAL IV ON A MALACHITE MODEL BIREME
Text ROYAL INSCRIPTION OF ITTOBAAL IV ON A MALACHITE MODEL BIREME: - HE HAS BLESSED TYRE, AND HE SAVED THE SIDONIANS FROM THE HEAVY CLOUDS OF SORROWS, THAT TERRIFIED ITTOBAAL, SON OF KING HIERON, KING OF TYRE -
Description MS in Phoenician on malachite, Lebanon, ca. 539-532 BC, 1 bow part of a Bireme, 16,0x9,3x5,0 cm (originally ca. 50x9x5 cm), 1 line in Phoenician script along all of port side, with holes on top and sides for mast, rigging and oars, and for a metal ram in the waterline in front.
Provenance 1. Private Collection, Israel and London; 2. Pars Antiques, London.
Commentary The Phoenician war galley Bireme had 2 banks of oars, a single pole mast with a square sail, and 2 steering oars, the main weapon being the heavy pointed ram. The Bireme became the leading warship of the 8th c. BC, being about 25 m. long with a beam of 3 m. This is an unusually large piece of malachite that was mined in Sinai. The term Sidonians is here used designing the inhabitants of the kingdom of Tyre, as is attested in the Bible, 1 Kings 5:20 and 16:31. Until now 3 kings of Tyre with the name Ittobaal have been known: Ittobaal 1 (ca. 887-856 BC), Ittobaal II (ca. 738 BC), and Ittobaal III (ca. 591-572 BC). The present inscription might, according to André Lemaire, be of a hitherto unattested king, Ittobaal IV, during his joint reign with his father, Hieron III, around 539-532 BC.
Published André Lemaire: Inscription royale phénicienne sur bateau votif. 2004.
See also See also MS 2032, Fleet diploma of Vespasian, Roma, 70 
See also MS 1921, Fleet diploma of Antoninus Pius, Roma, 143
Place of origin Lebanon
Dates ca. 539-532 BC

Location