Enlil-Bani stood up from the royal palanquin and looked over the crowd, his wrist discreetly shackled to the seat. His head buzzed from deep sorrow, weariness and lack of sleep, yet he was concerned that he might be recognized by anyone he knew. He also felt ashamed to have been substituted for the king, destined to be hung at the end of the day as a murderer. His face and scalp itched from the false wig and beard he wore, designed to make him resemble the genuine king of Isin city.
The year is about 1860 B.C.E., Sumeria. If the soothsayers predicted that a calamity would happen to the real king, it was a common practice to create a substitute king in his place. By executing the substitute, the gods would be fooled and the prediction would come true.
This day was unique, because Enlil-Bani is known to have survived and remained on the throne for twenty-four years.
Called "a real page turner," and "a total immersion in Sumerian life," The Diviner's Chronicle is based on history, and reveals a range of emotions, including ambition and avarice, jealousy and revenge, lust and love, plus loyalty and compassion.
Published: 16th December 2013