Recently-Discovered Correspondence Between Sargon, Emperor of Akkad, and Ur-Dammi, Ensi of Kish

Ca. 2300 B.C.E.

Lugal Sargon,

It comes to my most just attention that my city of Kish, blessed of Enlil, has come into inexplicable debt certainly not incurred by my humble gambling away of the royal treasury. I request your assistance in the same manner as I pray for Enlil’s, and prostrate my humble body and city at your mercy, should you choose within your righteousness to smite us for our crime of being poor. And yet I dance with joy as if this were a holy-day, for I know that in your wisdom you will not smite us, and yet help us with our debt that, should you need reminding, I did not cause by gambling.


Ur-Dammi of Kish

Ur-Dammi, noble servant of Enlil and noble servant of mine, just ruler of the city of Kish,

It comes to my even more just attention than yours, that on your previous tablet, you have failed to hail me by my full title, Lugal Sargon, Emperor of Akkad and Sumer, Patesi of the Black-Headed Peoples, Overlord of Elam, Ensi of Akkad. Not having enough tablets in Kish upon which to write my full title, is no valid excuse.

I have sacrificed one (1) goat to Ishtar on hopes that she may reverse your bad gambling fortunes, but as punishment for your insubordinance, you will not be receiving the unwarranted aid of the most just Royal Treasury of Akkad in retiring your most grievous debt.

Sincerely yours,

Lugal Sargon

Lugal Sargon of the many-varied titles,

I read your last tablet with eyes so tearful, they should turn all of Kish’s irrigation canals salty with their volume (?). Upon reading its entirety, I smote each member of my household slave-staff, for surely one must have greatly offended the Gods to warrant such grievous misfortune. I beseech you, on behalf of our local temple of Enlil, which needs yet to be built: give us the funds so that we may properly honor the Gods. For without a complete temple, and without the money to complete it, they must needs remain angry at the city of Kish. Once again, it is the Gods’ fault and not mine for gambling.

Wistfully kowtowing at the toes of your stepdaughters,

Ur-Dammi of Kish

Ur-Dammi, you go too far, like the unshorn sheep who wanders into the lion’s den.

With utmost truth and righteousness I declare your jerkitude to the four quarters of the universe. I hereby vow that I shall embark on a great journey, with many a retainer in tow. As Enlil is my witness, this journey will be one as to fashion me a bard, and along our way through every city of the black-headed peoples and the heathen lands of Elam, I will sing great songs of your legendary poopypantsness. And all the black-headed peoples and heathens shall hear me, and remark unto their neighbor, “Who is this Ur-Dammi of Kish, for I should like to stomp my boot hardily upon the shins of his daughters.”

Sincerely, and most righteously,

Lugal Sargon

Lugal Sargon, most righteous ruler of the four quarters of the universe,

You should fire your most unworthy scribe. Your last tablet contained cuneiform that was unreadable. Did you say, “I am as the vaginal opening of the goat who gives sour milk”? For that is what my most scholarly scribe insists that it reads! This is a most curious thing to send to me as part of a larger correspondence, although I do not doubt its veracity.

Your friend,

Ur-Dammi of Kish

I wrote that tablet myself, you unworthy hat of a man’s anus. You must be aware, in the innermost circle of your heart, that my tablet was both legible and correct, and spoke not of being a vaginal opening of the goat who gives sour milk. Retract that insult at once, or face my most untempered fury.

No signature salutation this time,

Lugal Sargon

What was that on your last tablet, you must be confused as the blind beggar whom we inevitably beat with sticks! Why, you say here that your mouth is as a urethra (?), your buttocks resembles a chin, and your eyes spin in all directions. This is a most curious appearance you have! Truly you should return to the subject of our most necessary correspondence and refrain from describing your most embarrassing physique.

Ur-Dammi of Kish

How dare you insinuate that I should write about my mouth resembling a urethra (?)! You know not the full wrath of Lugal Sargon of the long title. I will kick hardily in the groin (?) your […] until your […] becomes […]

(Unknown number of lines missing)

[…] and so say I unto you, I am glad we can still be friends. You will always have a place of great honor and justice in my court, and I shall send tablets to all those who heard my accidental slanderous song, correct the record, and say that you are indeed a just personage; so that they will say unto their neighbor, “Why, that Ur-Dammi, he sounds like one who we might invite someday for cheese and a biscuit, like the calf who bleats loudly.”



P.S. Gambling with you was of the most enjoyable nature, we should attempt such an outing again, Enlil permitting.

Comments are closed.