Amarna Letter from Labayu

Server Costs Fundraiser 2023

Running a website with millions of readers every month is expensive. Not only do we pay for our servers, but also for related services such as our content delivery network, Google Workspace, email, and much more. We would much rather spend this money on producing more free history content for the world. Thank you for your help!
$10027 / $21000


Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 08 September 2016

This clay tablet is part of the Amarna letters. This letter was sent from Labayu, ruler of Shechem to the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III or Akhenaten. Labayu denies accusation of treachery and failure to comply with the pharaoh's orders. He justifies his capture of a certain town by quoting a proverb "When an ant is struck, does not fight back and bite the hand of the man that struck it?" It is significant that Labayu, the leader of the Hapiru, is seen as the ruler of Shechem, a city which lay in the heart of the hill country, and which must have served as the power base for the Hapiru. The letter was written in Babylonian cuneiform inscriptions; the writing is written between lines. 14th century BCE. From Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. (The British Museum, London).

Remove Ads


About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, September 08). Amarna Letter from Labayu. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Amarna Letter from Labayu." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 08, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Amarna Letter from Labayu." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 08 Sep 2016. Web. 22 Mar 2023.