Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria

by Morris Jastrow | 1911 | 121,372 words

More than ten years after publishing his book on Babylonian and Assyrian religion, Morris Jastrow was invited to give a series of lectures. These lectures on the religious beliefs and practices in Babylonia and Assyria included: - Culture and Religion - The Pantheon - Divination - Astrology - The Temples and the Cults - Ethics and Life After Death...

Chronological Lists

These lists, intended merely as a guide to the reader, are based on recent historical researches associated chiefly with the names of Eduard Meyer, L. W. King, Francois Thureau-Dangin, Arthur Ungnad, and Arno Poebel, but despite the considerable progress made during the past few years, the chronology beyond 2000 B.C. is still uncertain, while beyond 2500 B.C. it is quite hypothetical.

The sources[1] for our study of Babylonian-Assyrian chronology are

  1. the votive and historical inscriptions and monuments of rulers, to which (for the later Assyrian and for the Neo-Babylonian period) are to be added:
  2. the historical annals of the kings;
  3. the dates attached to the thousands of business and legal documents of the various periods;
  4. the lists of kings for Babylonia, and lists of Eponyms for Assyria, prepared by official annalists to whom we also owe:
  5. a number of chronicles for both Babylonia and Assyria. Unfortunately, these lists and chronicles have come down to us in a badly preserved condition, which has greatly complicated the task of scholars in determining the sequence of the many names of rulers of political centres and districts for the earlier periods, as secured from the votive inscriptions and from the dates attached to documents.
  6. Finally, we have the lists of rulers in the fragments of Berosus (embodying a curious mixture of legendary and traditional lore) and the lists and historical references in other Greek writers which, as a matter of course, can now only be used in connection with the data from the monuments. Of special value, however, is the so-called Ptolemaic Canon which extends from the middle of the eighth century B.C. to the end of Baby Ionian-Assyrian history.”

The eight epochal events in Baby Ionian-Assyrian history from the chronological point of view are

  1. the establishment of the Empire of Sumer and Akkad under the control of the Semitic kings of Agade-Sargon and his son Naram-Sin—c. 2500 B.C.,
  2. the Sumerian reaction under the Ur dynasty (c. 2300-2200 B.C.),
  3. the final triumph of the Semites and the union of the Euphratean states under Hamurapi (c. 2000 B.C.),
  4. the definite advance of Assyria which may be dated from the advent of Tiglathpileser I. (c. 1125 B.C.),
  5. Assyria’s complete control of Babylonia, beginning about the ninth century, B.C.,
  6. the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 606 B.C.,
  7. the rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire with Nabopolassar in 625 B.C.,
  8. the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus in 539 B.C.

Previous to the days of Sargon and Naram-Sin, we find now one centre, now another—like Lagash, Uruk, Kish, Larsa, Ur, and Umma—extending its control, and the ultimate union of the southern (Sumerian) states is foreshadowed by rulers who call themselves “King of Sumer/’ The union of Sumer with Akkad (the designation of the northern section of the Euphrates Valley which was the stronghold of the Semitic settlements) is thus a natural consequence of this movement, brought about through the steady advance of the Semites, despite the temporary Sumerian reaction represented by the Ur dynasty.

As the most convenient method of furnishing an historical survey, the rulers of the various centres, so far as known to us, are here grouped in separate lists, while beginning with the so-called first dynasty of Babylon—for which we have as our basis a long (though unfortunately fragmentary) list of rulers with indications of the length of each reign—the rulers are arranged in ten continuous groups according to the dynasties as indicated by the official annalists.

In Assyria, we have only one political centre Ashur, replaced for two short periods—in the fourteenth century (c. 1330-1130 B.C.) and again in the ninth century (c. 850 B.C.) —by Calah, and finally yielding to Nineveh as the capital in the days of Sargon and Sennacherib (722-681 B.C.). The names of Assyrian rulers—in the earlier days known as patesis, later as kings—may therefore be arranged in one continuous list, nor is it practicable for our purposes (even were it possible) to indicate the frequent changes of dynasties through the rise of usurpers. For the neo-Babylonian dynasty and for the Persian rulers, the task is a simple one since the data for these centuries are complete.

The lists for the period before the first dynasty of Babylon are still very incomplete. It must be borne in mind that there are only a few sites in Babylonia at which extensive excavations have been conducted. Important mounds like Mukayyar (Ur), Abu Shahrain (Eridu), Tell Ibrahim (Cuthah), El-Ohemir (Kish) have not been touched, others like Warka (Uruk), Senkerah (Larsa), Abu Hatab (Ki-surra), Fara (Shuruppak), Jokha (Umma) have only been partially explored, or merely scratched on the surface. In part, however, the fact that only a few rulers have been found of certain places is due to other causes. So the circumstance that the extensive excavations at Nippur have yielded the names of only a few patesis is to be accounted for through the position of Nippur as a religious rather than as a political centre (see pp. 18, 66, etc.), controlled for the most part by rulers of other centres. No doubt there were many more patesis at Nippur than these two, but on the other hand the political independence must have come to an end at a very early date. The “foreign” rulers either regarded themselves as the patesis , or the position had become a merely nominal one, not carrying any real authority. Again, in the case of sites not far removed from another, like Kish and Opis, or Shuruppak and Kisurra, the rivalry must have been particularly keen.

The one or the other place would hold the supremacy, and during such a period the patesi of the one place would also control the other. Kish, e.g., appears to have outlasted Opis and we should, therefore, expect more patesis of the former, though it is of course merely an accident that up to the present only one patesi of Opis should be mentioned in the material at our disposal, and that in an inscription of a patesi of Lagash. It is, however, entirely too early to base any definite conclusions on the relatively large or small number of rulers at present known to us. The argumentum ex silentio —always hazardous—is particularly so when so much material still awaits the spade of the explorer. Meanwhile, it will be useful to the general reader to obtain through the enumeration of the cities for which names of rulers have been recovered—even though the number of such rulers be few or only one—a view of the many political centres in the early period, and of the rivalry between them that lasted for so many centuries before a permanent union was effected.

Approximate dates are indicated by circa. Special attention has been paid to indicating all the “synchronisms” between Babylonian and Assyrian rulers; and it is hoped that this will be found helpful in determining the order and approximate position of rulers in regard to whom no definite dates can as yet be given for the period or duration of their reigns. Progress in Babylonian-Assyrian chronology during the last decade has been chiefly in the direction of obtaining more of these valuable synchronisms, which have been the main factor in reducing the entirely too high dates formerly assigned for the earlier rulers in the Euphrates Valley.

The few abbreviations used are

  1. p for patesi (for which see p. 21 note),
  2. k for king,
  3. s for son,
  4. b for brother,
  5. figures within brackets indicate duration of reign,
  6. an asterisk indicates uncertainty as to the position of a ruler in the list.

The following identifications of mounds with ancient sites (see the map)—arranged in alphabetical order—should be especially noted.

Abu-Habba = Sippar
Abu Hatab = Kisurra
Abu Shahrain = Eridu
Arbela = Arba’ili
Akarkuf = Dur-Kurigalzu
Babil (or Mujelibe), with
el-Kasr, Amran-ibn-
Ali and Jumjuma
= Babylon
Birs Nimrud = Borsippa
Bismaya = Adab
El-Ohemir = Kish
Fara = Shuruppak (or Shurippak)
Jokha = Umma
Kaleh-Shergat = Ashur
Khorsabad = Dur-Sharrukin

Kouyunjik (and Nebi-Yunus)

= Nineveh
Mukayyar = Ur
Niffer = Nippur
Nimroud = Calah
Seleucia = Opis (?)
Senkerah = Larsa
Sepharvaim = Agade
Tell-Ibrahim = Cuthah
Telloh = Lagash (Shirpurla, Girsu)
Tell Sifr = Dur-gurgurri(?)
Warka Uruk (or Erech).


Rulers of Lagash

Lugal-shag-Engur (p.) contemporary with Mesilim,
k. of Kish (c. 3050 B.C. (?))
*Badu (k.)  
*En-khegal (k.)  
Ur-Nina (k.) s. of Gunidu, grandson of Gursar (c. 2975 B.C.)
Akurgal (p.) (s.)  
E-annatum (p. and k.) (s.)  
En-annatum I. (p.) (b.) c. 2900 B.C.
En-temena (p.) (s.) c. 2850 B.C.
En-annatum II. (p.) (s.)  
En-etarzi (p.)  
En-litarzi (p.)  
Lugal-anda (p.) (s.) (Fuller formLugal-anda-nushuga.)
Uru-kagina (k.) usurper, contemporary with Lugal-zaggisi,
k. of Uruk (c. 2750 B.C.)
En-gilsa (p.) (s.) contemporary with Manish-tusu,
k. of Kish (c. 2700 B.C.)
Lugul-ushumgal (p.) contemporary with Sargon of Agade (c. 2500 B.C.)
Ur-Babbar (p.) contemporary with Naram-Sin of Agade (c. 2470 B.C.)
*Ur-E (p.)  
*Lugal-bur (p.)  
*Basha-Mama (p.)  
*Ur-Mama (p.)  
*Ug-me (p.)  
Ur-Bau (p.) usurper (c. 2400 B.C.)
Nam-makhni (p.) (son-in-law.)
Ur-gar (p.) also son-in-law of Ur-Bau (?)
*Ka-azag (p.)  
*Galu-Bau (p.)  
*Galu-Gula (p.)  
*Ur-Ninsun (p.)  
Gudea (p.) c. 2350 B.C., usurper
Ur-Ningirsu (p.) (s.) contemporary with Ur-Engur,
k. of Ur (c. 2300 B.C.)
*Ur-abba (p.) (s.)  
*Galu-kazal (p.)  
*Galu-andul (p.)  
*Ur-Lama I. (p.) (c. 2240 B.C.)
*Alla (p.)  
* Ur- Lama II. (p.) (s.) contemporary with Dungi,
k. of Ur (c. 2225 B.C.)
Arad-Nannar[2] (p.) contemporary with Bur-Sin,
k. of Ur and his two successors,
i.e. up to c. 2200 B.C.


Rulers of Nippur

Ur-Enlil (p.) c. 3000 B.C.  
Lugal-ezendig (p.)  
Ur-nabbad (p.) (s.) contemporary with Dungi,
k. of Ur (c. 2260 B.C.)
Dada (p.) contemporary with Ibi-Sin,
last King of Ur. (c. 2200 B.C.)


Rulers of Adab

Esar (k.) c. 3000 b.c.(?)


Rulers of Shuruppak

Dada (p.) }   Period uncertain
Khaladda (p.) }   Period uncertain


Rulers of Umma

*E-Abzu (k.)  
Ush (p.)  
En-akalli (p.) { contemporary with E-anna turn
Ur-lumma[3] (k.) (s.) { of Lagash (c. 2925 B.C.)
Ili (p.) appointed by En-temena
p. of Lagash (c.2850 B.C.)
Ukush (p.)  
Lugal-zaggisi (k.) (s.) See also under Rulers of Uruk—
contemporary with Uru-kagina,
p. of Lagash (c. 2750 B.C.)
Kur-shesh (p.) contemporary with (or generation before (?) )
Manish-tusu, k. of Kish (c. 2700 B.C.)
*Galu-Babbar (p.)  
Ur-nesu (p.) contemporary of Dungi,
k. of Ur (c. 2240 B.C.)


Ruler of Opis

Zuzu (k.) defeated by E-annatum,
p. of Lagash (c. 2950 B.C.)


Rulers of Uruk

Lugal-zaggisi (k.) c. 2750 B.C. (also “King of Sumer”)
*Lugal-kigub-nidudu (k.) (also k. of Ur.)
*Lugal-kisalsi (k.) (also k. of Ur.)
Sin-gashid (k.) } (C. 2150-2110 B.C.[4])
Sin-gamil (k.) } idem.
An-am s. of Bel-shemea[5] (k.)  
Arad-shag-fhag (k.)  
Sin-eribam(?)[6] (k.)  


Rulers of Basime

Ilsu-rabi (p.)  
Ibalum (p.) contemporary with (or generation before (?) )
Manish-tusu k. of Kish (c. 2700 B.C.)


Rulers of Kish

Utug (p.) son of Bazuzu—perhaps an usurper (?) Mesilim (k.)
contemporary with Lugal-shag-Engur
p. of Lagash (c. 3050 B.C. (?) )
Ur-zage (k.)  
Lugal-tarsi (k.) c. 2950 B.c.(?)
Enbi-Ishtar (k.) c. 2800 B.C.
Sharrukin (k.) c. 2750 B.C.
Manish-tusu (k.) c. 2700 B.C.
Uru-mush (k.) c. 2600 B.C.
*Ashduni-erim (k.) c. 2100 B.C.
Manana (k.) c. 2075 B.C.
Sumu-ditana (k.) c. 2060 B.C.
Jawium (k.) c. 2050 B.C.
*Khalium (k.)  


Rulers Calling Themselves (also) King of Sumer

Lugal-zaggisi, k. of Uruk and k. of “the land” (c. 2750 B.C.)[7]
Lugal-kigub-nidudu, k. of Uruk and Ur.
Lugal-kisalsi,  k. of Uruk and Ur.[8]
En-shag-kushanna, lord of Summer, k. of “the land.”
[These three before 2500 B.C. —perhaps before 2600 B.C.]


Rulers of Agade

Shar-gani-sharri (i.e. Sargon) (k.) (son of Dati-Enlil), c. 2500 B.C.[9]
Naram-Sin (k.) (s.) c. 2470 B.C.
Bin-gani-sharri (s .)[10]  


Rulers of Ur[11]

Ur-Engur (k.) (18) C. 2300 B.C.
ungi (k.) (s.) (58) C. 2280 B.C.
Bur-Sin I. (k.) (s.) (9) C. 2220 B.C.
Gimil-Sin[12] (k.) (s.) (9) C. 2210 B.C.
Ibi-Sin (k.) (s.) (25) C. 2200 B.C.


Rulers of Isin (16 Kings)

Ishbi-Ura (32) C. 2175 B.C.
Gimil-ilishu (s.) (10) C. 2145 B.C.
Idin-Dagan (s.) (21) C. 2135 B.C.
Ishme-Dagan (s.) (20) C. 2115 B.C.
Libit-Ishtar (s.) (11) C. 2095 B.C.
Ur-Ninib (28) C. 2085 B.C.
Bur-Sin, II. (s.) (21) C. 2060 B.C.
Itēr-kasha (s.) (5) C. 2040 B.C.
Ura-imitti (b.) (7) C. 2035 B.C.
Sin-ikisha (1/2) C. 2028 B.C.
Enlil-bani (24) C. 2027 B.C.
Zambia (3) C. 2003 B.C.
[Name missing] (5) C. 2000 B.C.
Ea . . . . (4) C. I995 B.C.
Sin-magir (11) C. I99O B.C.
Damik-ilishu (s.) (23) C. I980 B.C.


Rulers of Ur and Larsa

Gungunu (k.) c. 2085 B.C. contemporary with Ur-Ninib, k. of Isin.
Sumu-ilu (k.) c. 2030    “       “       “
Nur-Adad (k.) c. 2020    “       “       “
Sin-Iddinam (k.) (s.) c. 1990   “       “       “
s. of Kudur-mabuk, a ruler of a distric Emutbal bordering on Elam.[13]
Arad-Sin (k.)  
Rim-Sin (k.) (b.) c. 1970   “       “       “


Rulers of Kisurra[14]

Idin-ilu (p.)[15]  
Itur-Shamash (p.?) (s.)  


Rulers of Ishkun-Sin[16]

Khash-khamer (p.), contemporary with Ur-Engur,
k. of Ur (c. 2300 B.C.).


Rulers of Dungi-Babbar

U.-Pasag (p.), in time of Dungi, k. of Ur (c. 2280 B.C.).


Rulers of Babylonia[17]

I. Dynasty of Babylon. (11 Kings.)   

Sumu-abu (14) c. 2060-2047 B.C. contemporary of
Ilu-shuma, k. (or p. ?) of Assyria.



c. 2046-2011 B.C.

Sabum (s.)


c. 2010-1997  “

Apil-Sin (s.)


c. 1996-1979  “

Sin-muballit (s.)


c. 1978-1959  “

Hammurapi (s.)[18]


c. 1958-1916  “

Samsu-iluna (s.)


c. 1915-1878  “ contemporary with
Ilu-ma-ilu (2d Dynasty).

Abeshu (or Ebi-shum) (s.)


c. 1877-1850  “ contemporary with
Ilu-ma-ilu (2d Dynasty).

Arimi-ditana (s.) (37) c. 1849-1813 B.C.
Ammi-saduka (s.) (21) c. 1812-1792  “
Samsu-ditana (s.) (31) c. 1791-1761  “[19]


II. Dynasty of the Sea-Land. (11 Kings.)[20]

Iluma-ilu C. 1900-1870 B.C. contemporary with
Samsu-iluna and Abeshu (1st Dynasty).
Damik-ilishu c. 1820  “
Shushshi (b.)
Gulkishar c. 1800[21]  “
Peshgal-daramash (s.)  
Adara-kalama (s.)  
Akur (or Ekur)-ulanna  
Ea-gamil c. 1720 b.c. contemporary with
Kash-tili-ash I., k. of Babylonia (1712-1691 B.C.)


III. Cassite Dynasty. (36 Kings.)[22]

Gandash (16) c. 1750-1735 b.c.
Agum I. (s.) (22) c. 1734-1713 b.c.
Kash-tiliash I., Usurper.
  b. of Ulam-buriash[23]
and s. of Bur-naburiash
(22) c. 1712-1691 “
Ushshi (s.) (8) c. 1690-1683 “

Abi-rattash (b.?) of Agum I.?)

Tazzi-gurumash (s.)    
Ayum II. (s.)    
[Gap of about two centuries.]
Kara-indash   contemporary with
Ashir-rim-nische-schu, k.
of Assyria (c. 1430 B.C.).
Kadashman-kharbe I. (s.?)    
Kuri-galzu I. (s.)    
Bur-naburiash[24] (s.) (25) contemporary with Puzur-Ashur,
k. of Assyria (c. 1380 B.C.).
Kara-khardash   son-in-law of Ashur-uballit,
k. of Assyria. (C. I350 B.C.)
Nazi-bugash (usurper)    
[Kings 5 to 20= about 340 years, c. 1682-1346 B.C.]
Kuri-galzu II. (s. of Burnaburiash) (23) c. 1345-1323 B.C. contemporary
with Ashur-uballit and En-lil-nirari,
kings, of Assyria.
Nazi-maruttash (s) (26) C. I322-I297 B.C. contemporary
with Adad-nir-ari I., k. of Assyria.
Kadashman-turgu (s.) (17) c. 1296-1280 b.c.
Kadashman-Enlil (6) c. 1279-1274 “
Kudur-Enlil (s.) (9) c. 1273-1265 “
Shagarakti-shuriash[25] (s.) (13) c. 1264-1252 “ contemporary with
Tukulti-Ninib I., k. of Assyria.
Kash-tiliash II. (s.) (8) c. 1251-1244 B.C.
Enlil-nadinshum (s.?) (11/2) c. 1243-1242 “
Kadashman-kharbe II. (11/2) c. 1242-1241 “
Adad-shumiddin (6) c. 1240-1235 “
Adad-nadinakhi [26] (30) c. 1234-1205 B.C. contemporary
with Enlil-kudur-usur, k. of
Assyria, (c. 1240 B.C.)
Meli-shipak (s.?) (15) c. I 204 -II 90 B.C.
Marduk-paliddin (s.) (13) c. 1189-1177 “
Zamama-shumiddin (1) c. 1176 “ contemporary with
Ashurdan I., k. of Assyria.
Bel-nadin-[akhi] (3) c. 1175-1173 B.C.


IV. Isin Dynasty. (11 Kings.)

Marduk (17?) c. 1172-1156 B.C
[Two names missing]   c. 1155-1140 “
Nebuchadnezzar I. usurper (?)    c. I I4O-IO86 B.C.
contemporary with
Ashur-reshishi I.,k. of Assyria.
Enlil-nadinpal (s.)   c. I I4O-IO86 B.C.
Marduk-nadinakhi   c. I I4O-IO86 B.C.
contemporary with Tiglath-Pileser
I., k. of Assyria.
Marduk-shapik-zermati   c. I I4O-IO86 B.C.
contemporary with Ashur-bel-kala,
k. of Assyria.
(s. of Itti-Marduk-balatu) [27]
(22) c. 1085-1064 B.C.
usurper, father-in-law of
Ashur-bel-kala, k. of Assyria.
Marduk-akhirba (11/2) c. 1064-1063 B.C.
Marduk-zer (12) c. 1062-1051 “
Nabu-shumlibur (8)? c. 1050-1043 “


V. Sea-Land Dynasty.[28] (3 Kings.)

Simmash-shipak (son of Erba-Sin)  (18)[29] c. 1042-1025 B.C.
Ea-mukin-zer (s. of Khash-mar) (5 months)[30] c. 1024 B.C.
Kashshu-nadinakhi (s. of Sippâya) (3) c. 1024-1022 B.C.


VI. Bit-Bazi Dynasty. (3 Kings.)

E-ulmash-shakinshum (s. of Bazi) (17)[31] c. 1020-1000 B.C.
Ninib-kudurusur (b.) (3)[32] c. 1020-1000 B.C.
Shilanim-Shukamuna (b.) (3 months) c. 1020-1000 B.C.


VII. Elamitic Ruler.

(Name missing.[33])  (6 years.) c. 1000-995 B.C.


VIII. (About 13 kings ruling c. 994-754 among them.)

Nebo-mukinpal c. 994-959[34] B.C.
Shamash-mudammik contemporary with
Adad-nirari III. (c. 910 B.C.)
 Nebo-shumishkun I. “    “    “
Nebo-paliddin[35] c. 888-854 B.C.
contemporary with
Shalmaneser III.,
k. of Assyria (858-824 B.C.)
Marduk-nadinshum[36] (s.) “    “    “
Marduk-balatsu-ikbi contemporary with
Sham-shi-Adad IV.,
k. of Assyria (823-811 B.C.)
Bau-akhiddin (to c. 800 B.C.) “    “    “


IX. Dynasty of Babylon. (About 5 kings.)

Nebo-shumishkun II.   753-748 B.C.
Nebo-nasir[37] (14) 747-734 B.C., contemporary with
Tiglath-Pileser IV, (745-727 B.C.)
Nebo-nadinzer (s.) (2) 733-732 B.C.
Nebo-shumukin (1 mo.)[38]
(13 days)



X. Various Dynasties.[39]

Mukin-zer (3) 732-730 B.C.
Pulu (= Tiglathpileser IV.) (2) 729-727 B.C.
Ulula (= Shalmaneser V.) (s.) (5) 727-722 B.C.
Marduk-paliddin I.[40] (12) 721-710 B.C.
Sargon (5) 709-705 B.C.
Sennacherib (s) (2) 704-702 B.C.
Marduk- zakirshum[41] (one month) 702 B.C.
Marduk-paliddin II. (nine months) 702 B.C.
Bel-ibni (3) 702-700 B.C.
(son of Sennacherib k. of Assyria)
(6) 699-694 B.C.
Nergal-ushezib (11/2) 693-692 B.C.
Mushezib-Marduk (4) 692-689 B.C.
Sennacherib[42] (8) 688-681 B.C.
Esarhaddon (12) 680-669 b.c.
Shamash-shumukin (20) 668-648 B.C.
Kandalanu (in conjunction with Ashurbanapal)   647-626 B.C.
Ashur-etil-ilani   625-


Rulers of Assyria[43]

Kate-Ashir, c. 2100 B.C. (?)  
Shalim-Akhum (s)  
Ilu-shuma contemporary of Sumu-abu,
k. of Babylonia (c. 2060-2047 B.C.)
Irishum (or Erishum) (s) 159 years[44] before Shamshi-Adad I.,
c. 2030 B.C.
Ikunum (s.)  
*Shamshi-Adad I.[45] (s) 580 years before Shalmaneser I.,
i.e. c. 1870 B.C.
Ishme-Dagan I.  
Shamshi-Adad II. (s) 641 years before Ashurdan I.,
k. of Assyria, i.e. c. 1820 B.C.
Ishme-Dagan II.  
Ashir-nirari I.  
Ashir-rabi I., c. 1475 B.C.
Ashir-nirari II. (s)  
Ashir-rim-nisheshu (s) contemporary with Kara-indash,
k. of Babylonia, (c. 1430 B.C.)
Puzur-Ashur contemporary with Bur-naburiash
c. B.C. 1390
Erba-Adad (s)  
Ashur-uballit (s)  c. 1370-43 B.C.
father-in-law of Kara-khardash,
k. of Babylonia.
Enlil-nirari (s) contemporary with Kuri-galzu II.,
k. of Babylonia (c. 1340 B.C.).
Arik-den-ilu (s)  
Adad-nirari I. (s) contemporary with Nazi-marut-tash,
k. of Babylonia, (c. 1320 B.c)
Shalmaneser I.[46] (s)  
Tukulti-Ninib I. (s) c. 600 years before the conquest
of Babylon (689 B.C.) by Sennacherib,
k. of Assyria, i.e. c. 1290 B.C.[47])
Tukulti-Ashur (s)  
Enlil-kudur-usur c. 1240 B.C.
contemporary with Adad-nadinakhi,
k. of Babylonia.
Ashurdan I.[49] (s)  c. 1185 B.C.
contemporary with Zamama-shumid-din,
k. of Babylonia;
and circa 60 years before Tiglath-Pileser I.,
k. of Assyria.
Mutakkil-Nusku (s).  
Ashur-reshishi I. (s) contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar I.,
k. of Babylonia, (c. 1150 B.C.)
Tiglath-Pileser I. (s) c. 1125-1100 B.C.
Beginning of reign contemporary with
5th k. of Isin dynasty.[50])
Ashur-bel-kala (s) contemporary with Marduk-shapik zer-mati,
7th king of Isin dynasty
and son-in-law of Adad-paliddin,
8th king of Isin dynasty. (c. 10851064 B.C.)
Shamshi-Adad III. (b).  
Ashurnasirpal I. (s).  
Shalmaneser II. (s).  
Adad-nirari II.  
Tiglath-Pileser II.  
Ashur-rabi II.  
Ashur-reshishi II. (s).  
Tiglath-Pileser III. (s).  
Ashurdan II. (s).  
Adad-nirari III. (s) 911-890
contemporary with Shamash-mudam-mik,
k. of Babylonia.
Tukulti-Ninib[51] II. (s) 889-884.
Ashur-nasirpal II. (s) 883-859.
Shalmaneser III.[52] (s) 858-824
contemporary with Nebo- paliddin,
k. of Babylonia (c. 888-854 B.C.).
Shamshi-Adad IV.[53] (s) 823-811
contemporary with Marduk-balatsu-ikbi,
k. of Babylonia.
Adad-nirari IV. (s) 810-782.
Shalmaneser IV. (s) 781-772.
Ashurdan III. (s) 771-754.
Ashur-nirari III. (s) 753-746.
Tiglathpileser IV. 745-727
contemporary with Nebo-shumukin,
k. of Babylonia (732 B.C.).
Shalmaneser V. (s) 727-722 B.C.
Sargon 721-706 B.C.
Sennacherib (s) 705-681 B.C.
Esarhaddon (s) 680-669 B.C.
Ashurbanapal (s).
668-626 B.C.
Ashur-etil-ilani (s) 626-c. 618 B.C.
Sin-shum-lishir c. 618 B.C.,
who is followed after a short reign by
Sin-shar-ishkun, the brother of Ashur-etil-ilani.
See Clay, Babylonian Expedition, viii., I, p. 9.
Sin-shar-ishkun c. 616-606 B.C.
(Destruction of Nineveh 606 B.C.)



Rulers of Neo-Babylonian Empire

(also last governor of Babylonia
under Assyrian control)
625-604 B.C.
Nebuchadnezzar II. (s) 604-561 B.C.
Evil-Merodach (s)[54] 561-560 B.C.
Neriglissor (brother-in-law) 559-556 B.C.
Labosoarchod (s) ???-556 B.C.
Nabonnedos.[55] 555-539 b.c.
(Cyrus’ conquest of Babylonia 539 B.C.)


Persian Rulers of Babylonia[56]

Cyrus 539-529 B.C.
Cambysses (s) 529-522 B.C.
Darius I. (Hystaspis) 522-486 B.C.
Xerxes I. (s) 486-465 B.C.
Artaxerxes I. (Longimanus) (s) 465-424 B.C.
Xerxes II. (45 days.)
Darius II. 424-404 B.C.
Artaxerxes II. (Mnemon) (s) 404-359 B.C.
Artaxerxes III. (Ochos) (s) 359-338 B.C.
Arses (s) 338-336 B.C.
Darius III. (Codomanus) 336-331 b.c.
(Alexander the Great conquers Babylonia 331 B.C.)

Footnotes and references:


The most satisfactory discussion of these sources will be found in Meyer, Geschichte des Altirtums, I., 2, pp. 313-346. This work and King’s History of Babylonia and Assyria —both in course of publication—are the two standard works on the history of the Euphratean civilisation, replacing the older histories of Tiele, Hommel, Winckler, etc., while Rogers’s useful History of Babylonia and Assyria now requires revision in order to be brought up to date. A great deal of valuable material with learned discussions is embodied in Hommel’s Grundriss der Geographie und Geschichte des Alten Orients (in course of publication), but unfortunately in combination with many theories and conjectures, which though often ingenious are frequently extremely hazardous. It should perhaps be added that Vol. I. of King’s work, above referred to, is generally quoted by its separate title “History of Sumer and Akkad,”


In addition to being patesi of Lagash, he calls himself patesi or governor of twelve other places or districts. See Thureau-Dangin, Sumerisch-Akkadische Kōnigsinschriften, p. 148 seq.; King, op. cit., p. 301 seq.


Perhaps to be read Ur-khumma.


These two rulers probably belong to a period contemporaneous with the earlier rulers of the first dynasty of Babylonia (see below p. 432). The reading of the second name is not certain. See Meyer, Geschichte des AUertums I., 2, page 505).


During the closing decades of the Isin dynasty (below p. 430), Uruk secures its independence. How long it was maintained we do not know, but presumably a century at the most.


According to Scheil, Oriental. Litteraturzeitung, vol. VIII., p350.


“King of the land” is a designation for Sumer.


These two rulers, though they do not use the designation “king of the land,” evidently belong to the group, Uruk and Ur being employed to indicate the extent of the control. Of another “king of the land” who defeats Enbi-Ishtar, King of Kish (c 2800 b. c.), four fragmentary vase inscriptions have been found at Nippur, but unfortunately in all four cases, the name of the ruler is broken out. See Hilprecht, Old Babylonian Inscriptions , I., 2, Nos. 102-105; no.


Nabonnedos (last king of Babylonia, 555-539 b. c.) gives the date of Sargon as 3200 years earlier, i. e. c. 3750 b. c. which, however, turns out to be about 1300 years too high. See above P. 295.


Not certain that he succeeded his father.


While from a list found at Nippur (?), we have the years of the duration of each reign for the dynasties of Ur and of Isin indicated, the uncertainty of the chronology of this period demands caution in following them too literally. I have, therefore, suggested approximate dates without too close adhesion to the exact figures in the list in question. The five rulers represent a regular succession from father to son.


An official of this king, Lugal-magurri, calls himself patesi of Ur and commander of the fortress.


Kudur-mabuk must have held a good part of Babylonia in subjection, and succeeds in placing two of his sons in control of Larsa.


Site of Abu-Hatab where, as at the neighbouring Fara (= Shu-ruppak the site of the Babylonian Deluge), some preliminary work of excavation has been carried on. See Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, Nos. 15-17.


Probably later than the Ur Dynasty.


In northern Babylonia (?). See King, History of Sumer and Akkad, p. 281.


We now reach the great Babylonian list of kings (see above p. 421) as our main chronological source, the many gaps of which can be partially filled out through other sources. The founder of what the Babylonian annalist calls the dynasty of Babylon— with its seat in the city of Babylon—is Sumu-abu, but it is not until we reach the sixth member, Hammurapi, that the rulers of Babylon can lay claim to all of Sumer and Akkad. Indeed, it would appear that Sumu-abu started out as a vassal of the kings of Sumer and Akkad, but with him the movement of extension and conquest begins, which culminates in Hammurapi’s overthrow (c. 1928 B.C.) of his most formidable rival, the Elamite warrior Rim-Sin, who was also the last ruler of the Larsa dynasty. This is also indicated by the names of rulers incidentally referred to in inscriptions (or other documents), who are contemporary with Sumu-lailu and other of the earlier rulers of the Babylonian dynasty, but independent of them, such as Immerrum, Anman-Ila, Buntakhtun-ila, who appear to have ruled in Sippar. Of others who also belong to this period like Mana-baltel, Rim-Anum, and Jakhzar-ili of Kasallu hardly anything more than the names are known, but their occurrence with royal titles, before Hammurapi and the other rulers of the first dynasty obtained control of Babylonia indicate that the local rulers at Sippar, and no doubt elsewhere, managed to maintain at least a partial independence.

On some still earlier rulers, of whom, however, only the names remain (Ilu-illati, En-men-nunna, Apil-kishshu), see King, Chronicles Concerning Early Babylonian Kings, ii., p. 47.

For the first dynasty, the names are wanting in the large list of kings, but can be supplied from a duplicate fragment for the first two dynasties. This duplicate also furnishes the length of reign of each king of the first dynasty, but the figures appear to be inaccurate. Those given by me follow the data derived from the dates attached to legal documents, and are the ones now generally accepted by scholars. In a few cases, they  may however, be a few years out—so possibly the reigns of the last two kings for whom we have not as yet sufficient data from other sources. I follow the approximate dates as given by Meyer, Geschichte, i., 2, p. 507. From the third member to the end of the dynasty we have a continuous succession of the father and son.


According to Nabonnedos (last king of Babylonia 555539 B.C. See Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, ii., p. 90; col. ii., 20-22), Hammurapi ruled 700 years before Buma-buriash of the Cassite dynasty (see p. 436), which turns out to be about 100 years too much, just as Nabonnedos’ date for Shagarakti-shuriash (see below p. 437, note 1) is likewise 100 years too high.


Invasion of Hittites. See King, op. cit., ii., p. 22.


Its seat was in the region of the Persian Gulf, and it does not appear that the rulers ever extended their sway as far as Babylon. The first two (or three) kings of this “Sea-Land” dynasty are contemporary with the last five of the dynasty of Babylon; and the last three of the “Sea-Land” dynasty with the first three rulers of the Cassite dynasty. The large Babylonian list of kings furnishes the length of the reign of each of these rulers of the “Sea-Land,” but the figures—a total of 368 years for 11 kings—are much too high. They are presumably guesses on the part of the annalist. The duplicate fragment gives no figures for this dynasty.


Enlil-nadinpal s. of Nebuchadnezzar I. (c. 11 49-1130 B.C.) of the Isin dynasty (below p. 438) places Gulkishar 696 years before his time, i.e., c. 1835 B.C., which may, however, be a little too high. See Meyer, op. cit., ii., i, p. 576, who thinks that thefigures may be about 50 years too high; it may even be as much as 75 years out of the way. 


The first dynasty of Babylon was brought to an end through an incursion of the Hittites (see above, p. 434, note 1), and it would appear that a Hittite ruler actually sat on the throne of Babylon for a short time. At all events a period of some years elapsed before the Cassites came into control. As a minimum we may assume 10 years between the end of the dynasty of Babylon and the first of the Cassite rulers, though it may turn out to be as much as 20 years. Of the 36 Cassite rulers, only 20 are preserved on the Babylonian list and many of these only in part, but thanks to numerous business documents of this period and boundary stones, most of the defective names may be restored and others supplied together with approximate lengths of their reigns. Seven names, however, are still entirely missing and some of those entered between Nos, 5-20 are uncertain. I follow Meyer’s indications, p. 338, with some modifications on the basis of the researches of Ungnad, Thureau-Dangin and Clay. The latter was kind enough to place his results of a special study of this period at my disposal.


Who defeats Ea-gamil, last ruler of the Sea-Land dynasty, but who does not appear to have actually occupied the throne. See King, Chronicles Concerning Early Babylonian Kings , ii., p. 22, and Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums , i., 2, p. 583.


See above p. 433, note 1.


According to Nabonnedos (last king of Babylonia, 555-539 b.c.) Shagarakti-shuriash, the son of Kudur-Enlil, ruled 800 years before him (Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, iii., p. 106; col. iii. 27-29) which, however, appears to be 100 years too high.


Or perhaps to be read Adad-shum-usur. See King, Records of Tukulti-Ninib pp. 72 and 99.


See King, Chronicles, ii, p. 59, Note 2.


A king of the Sea-Land—Marduk-paliddin is mentioned also in the annals of Tiglathpileser IV. (745-727 B.C.).


Or 17, according to a Babylonian chronicle. Uprising under the lead of a man of the Damik-ilishu Dynasty. See above p. 434.


Or 3, according to a Babylonian chronicle.


Or 15, according to a Babylonian chronicle.


Or 2, according to a Babylonian chronicle.


Perhaps to be restored as Ea-apal-usur. See King, Chronicles Concerning Early Babylonian Kings, ii., p. 55.


This long reign of 36 years is now extremely probable. See King, op cit, i., p. 222 seq.


Ruled at least 31 years extending back, therefore, into the reign of Ashur-nasirpal II., k. of Assyria, 883-859 B.C. (See Schrader, op. cit., i., p. 98, col. iii., 19.)


Uprising under lead of his brother Marduk-bel-usati, but crushed with the aid of Shalmaneser III. (8th year = 850 B.C.) See Schrader, op. cit., i., p. 134, 11 . 73-84.


With Nebonasir (= Nabonassar) the Ptolemaic Canon begins.


According to a Babylonian chronicle, a little over two months. (King, op. cit., ii., p. 64, note 1.)


After Mukin-zer (or Nebo-mukin-zer, as his full name appears on a tablet to be published shortly by Prof. Clay), who is designated as of the Shashi dynasty, we have Assyrian kings acting under special names (as Pulu and Ulula) as governors of Babylonia or appointing the crown prince (as Sargon and Sennacherib), or high officials until the destruction of Babylon by Sennacherib in 689 B.C., after which Assyrian kings themselves assume direct control with the exception of 668-648 B.C., during which Shamash-shumukin appointed by his brother Ashurbanapal, king of Assyria, is in command.


Perhaps the son of Nebo-shum-ukin—if the line in the Babylonian chronicle (King, op. cit., ii., p. 64—rev. 3) is to be restored accordingly.


Two pretenders in his short and evidently disturbed reign are Marduk-bel-u-she[zib (?)], and Marduk-balatsu-[ikbi (?)] See King, op. cit., iii., p. 65.


According to the Babylonian chronicle, however, an interregnum of 8 years (Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, ii., p. 280, and iii., 28). Within this period, perhaps, a certain Erba-Marduk, s. of Marduk-shakinshum and other aspirants whose rule was not subsequently recognized are to be placed. (See King, op. cit., ii., p. 66, note 2.)


Patesis up to about 1500 B.C., though later rulers, not distinguishing sharply between patesi and sharru (king), occasionally use sharru when referring to rulers before this date.

The chronology of Assyria beyond 1500 B.C. is still quite uncertain. Through the inscriptions at Kalah-Shergat (Ashur) many new names of patesis have been ascertained, but the sequence is not clear in all cases, and there are still gaps of uncertain length to be filled out. I have not included in the above list a certain Enlil-bani, s. of Adasi, whom Esarhaddon, 680-666 B.C., mentioned as his remote ancestor and to whom he gives a royal title. (Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, ii., p. 120). The specific manner in which Esarhaddon speaks of this personage warrants us in believing that Bel-ibni was really his ancestor. The statement that the latter was an actual ruler over Assyria is open to the suspicion of being an invention by the king to justify his dynasty, which we know begins with Sargon, his grandfather. Until the name, therefore, is found in an inscription of Assyria it is better to leave the name out of any provisional list.


So according to a statement of Shalmaneser I., while according to Esarhaddon 126 years.


There may be a third Shamshi-Adad son of Enlil-Kapkapi (Rawlinson, i., Pl. 6, No. 1) in this early period who might be the ruler of that name mentioned in a legal document (Ranke, Babylonian Legal and Business Documents fron the Time of the First Dynasty of Babylon, No. 260 bv. 12.) as contemporary with Hammurapi (i.e. c. 1950), but that is uncertain; and it is not likely that a patesi of Assyria should be mentioned in a Babylonian document. It is more likely that Enlil-kapkapu is identical with Enlil-kapi.


See above under Shamshi-Adad I.


See King, Records of Tukulti-Ninib , 1., p. 60 seq .; 107 seq. Sennacherib speaks of a seal of Tukulti-Ninib, once the property of Shagarakti-shuriash, of the Cassite dynasty, who thus turns out to be the contemporary of Tukulti-Ninib. The latter conquers Kash-tiliash II. and brings him as a captive to Ashur. Subsequently Tukulti-Ninib is killed in a revolt organized by his son and successor (op. cit.., pp. 87, 97, 991).


Son of Erba-Adad II., founder, therefore, of a new dynasty.


See above under Shamshi-Adad II.


According to Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.) 418 years elapsed between Tiglathpileser’s defeat of Marduk-nadinakhi and Sennacherib’s conquest of Babylon in 689 B.C. (See Schrader, Keilinschritfliche Bibliothek, ii., p. 118. PI. 49-50.), which would therefore make Tiglathpileser I. still reigning in 1107 B.C.


From Tukulti-Ninib II. to Ashurbanapal we have lists of Assyrian Eponyms in several copies. From Shamshi-Adad IV. to Shalmaneser V. we have the fragments of another list of Eponyms.


See Delitzsch, in Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient Gesellschaft, No. 42, p. 35 note.


Suppresses uprising of his brother Ashur-daninpal that had broken out during the closing years of the reign of Shalmaneser III. (See Schrader, op. cit., i., p. 176; Col. I., 39-52.)


More properly Amel-Marduk, Nergal-shar-usur, Labashi-Marduk, Nebo-na’id. I give the more familiar forms of these four names.


His son Bel-shar-usur, associated with his father in the government of Babylonia, is the famous Belshazzar of the Book of Daniel.


I have omitted the numerous pretenders like Gaumata, Nebuchadnezzar III., etc., mentioned in the Behistun inscription of Darius I. and elsewhere.

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