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reserved for the king

Yakim-Addu, a Babylonian civil servant, fears that he will be blamed if a lion, an animal reserved for the king, dies within his jurisdiction:

'Tell my lord: Your servant Yakim-Addu sends the following message. A short time ago I wrote to my lord as follows: 'A lion was caught in the barn of a house in Akkaka. My lord should write whether this lion should remain in the barn until arrival of my lord, or whether I should have it brought to my lord.' But letters from my lord were slow in coming and the lion has been in the barn for five days. Although they threw him a dog and a pig, he refused to eat them. I was worrying: 'Heaven forbid that this lion pine away.' I became scared, but eventually I got the lion into a wooden cage and loaded it on a boat to have it brought to my lord.'

Oppenheim, A.L. Letters from Mesopotamia, page 53


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