UNIVERSAL BIOGRAPHY LIBRARY

 

 
 

 

NARAM-SIN

(2254-2218)

 

1. Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, [marched] against the city of Apirak,

2. and he constructed mines (against it), and Rish-Ad[ad],

 

3. the king of Apirak, and the governor of Apirak his hand sub[dued].

4. He marched against Magan, and Mannu-dannu, the king of Magan, [his hand subdued].

5. Dungi, the son of Ur-Engur, cared greatly for the city of Eridu, which was on the shore of the sea.

6. But he sought after evil, and the treasure of Esagila and of Babylon

7. he brought out as spoil. And Bel was [ .... ], and body and he made an end of him.

 

8. Ura-imitti, the king, set Bel-ibni, the gardener,

9. upon his throne, that (the dynasty) might not come to an end ;

10. and the crown of his sovereignty he placed upon his head,

11. Ura-imitti in his palace [ died ].

12. Bel-ibni, who sat upon the throne, did not arise (therefrom),

13. but as king he was established.

14. Ilu-shuma, king of Assyria, against Su-abu.


Manishtusu, according to an omen, was murdered in a palace conspiracy, and was succeeded by his son, Naram-Sin, destined to become the second of a pair whom later history ever regarded as the greatest figures in its annals. Because of this likeness Naram-Sin was known afterwards as the son of Sargon; if the word is pressed it is incorrect for the king-list rightly calls him son of Manishtusu. His reign was long and, until its closing years, glorious. But our information upon it is of varying authenticity, depending for the greatest part upon much later tradition. Of his own inscriptions, which were certainly many and informative, and of the sculptures which illustrated his campaigns and triumphs, very little has survived. By chance he has fared scantily even in the copies of these monuments at Nippur which are comparatively informative about the wars of his grandfather. Both the original inscriptions of Naram-Sin and their copies are marked by two significant changes in the royal styles; first, he used himself, and permitted to be used in the addresses of his subjects, the divine determinative before his name. This is not invariable in his own titulary, and may have been assumed later in his reign, but the language of obsequious servants who dedicated their seals to him was unrestrained in the attribution of divinity, for they often address him not only as divine in his nature but do not hesitate to call him 'the god of Agade'. He was perhaps the first to bear this title, which marks a monstrous usurpation according to the ideas of the older Sumerian rulers who took pride in being simply the city-god's executant. It is not impossible that some of the stories of downfall and disaster which later tradition attached to his memory were motivated in part by the belief that such presumption could not go unpunished by the offended gods. At least, he had not many imitators in later history.

A second vain-glorious, but less blasphemous, title was one which again appears for the first time with Naram-Sin, 'king of the four regions', a claim to universal dominion over the earth which was revived by Shulgi and his successors at Ur, when they also seemed for a time to enjoy a boundless empire. It is not possible to write a consecutive nor even a factual account of Naram-Sin's reign. There is no chronology for its thirty-seven years, and no criterion for the truth of what is related, since nearly all of this is in the form of later compilations and legends, from which emerges nothing but a blurred picture of triumph and disaster; only from the course of subsequent events is it permissible to believe that disaster predominated in the end.

Like his predecessors Naram-Sin probably began his reign amid a revolt of his subjects. Several of the ancient cities were prominent in this uprising, and one account ascribes its leadership to Kish, which is bitterly reproached as thankless and mansworn to the house of Sargon. In this text more than twenty conspirators are named, in another there are seventeen, whose realms extended from Anatolia in the extreme north-west to Magan, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, in the south-east. The issue of this vast struggle is hardly indicated by a dubious line as victory for Naram-Sin, although this may be assumed. If so, success was surely not achieved in one year or in one campaign the extent of the rebellious lands over the whole stretch of ancient western Asia guarantees that the king had to wage a series of hard and distant wars, which doubtless exhausted his resources and left his successors enfeebled. Mari might be the first stage of his march to the west, and the second was achieved by the conquest of Armanum and Ibla, claimed in a copy of his own inscription. The former of these, perhaps both, were ruled by Rish-Adad, who was captured alive by the victor, and was represented in captivity by a sculpture dedicated to the Moon-god. Iblahad been formerly occupied by Sargon, though his grandson claims first capture of it, and the 'cedar mountain' which Sargon also possessed is defined by Naram-Sin as the Amanus. All of the places named in this inscription lay between the great bend of the Euphrates and the north Syrian coast; Armanum was probably Aleppo and Tidnum a place upon the sea-shore not far from Tyre. Other celebrated incidents marked the same campaign in Syria, which earned for the victor his title as 'lord of Tidnum'.

Nothing is known of the other western and even Anatolian 'kings' who appear in one list of the seventeen rebels. But a siege and capture of Apishal was famous in tradition, being remembered especially by the soothsayers for its ominous accompaniments; Naram-Sin marched thither, battered breaches in its walls and took prisoner its 'king' Rish-Adad, whose name cannot but recall Rish-Adad, the ruler of Armanum, though there is no likelihood that he was the same. Where Apishal lay is uncertain but it must have been secluded, for the approach to it was described by a legend in terms of difficulty which (as already noticed) recall the obstacles and fatigues of Sargon's expedition to Purushkhanda. Even that extreme limit was probably reached by Naram-Sin also. The copied inscription concerning his western wars contains a mention of Talkhatum, a place (it says) which no king before him had ever reached, but Naram-Sin went there, and the goddess Inanna gave him no rival, and the city-governors of Subartum and the lords of the highlands supplied him with provisions. This town of Talkhatum is known again in a later age as a place where the business of the Cappadocian merchants passed sometimes, as it did also to Purushkhanda, and the two were certainly on the same route. In seeming agreement with this, one of the later stories about Naram-Sin begins the invasion of his empire with demoniac hordes destroying the town of Purushkhanda(r), as though it was the utmost bound of his dominion. It will hardly be too much, therefore, to believe that Naram-Sin exercised some authority, however incomplete, over districts in the south-east of Asia Minor, where his grandfather before him had accomplished the same phenomenal march which Naram-Sin or his flatterers heralded as a pioneer effort.

Towards the north there is material proof of the extent of his dominion. Farthest of all is the site now called Tell Brak, of which the ancient name is still unknown. Here has been found, upon a most imposing mound, the seat of a flourishing population and cult in ages long before the Dynasty of Agade, and the ruin of a great palace built by Naram-Sin with bricks bearing his name. Such a building testifies to the order which was established in a remote district under this king's reign, for therein were collected and stored the tributes of the surrounding country, at that time fertile and prosperous. Not far away to the east has been found a stele with a figure of the king and an obliterated inscription, at a village near the town of Diyarbakr. Of his presence and supremacy in the cites of Assyria there is direct and inferential evidence, which has been noticed before.

Whereas it may be assumed that the supremacy of Naram-Sin in the west and north was maintained without serious contest he had some hard struggles upon his eastern frontiers against the various hill peoples who enviously overlooked the Babylonian plain, and were at length to overthrow the kingdom which he left to his sons. The rock-relief chiselled upon the steep side of a gorge called Darband-i Gawr in the district of Kara-Dag south of Sulaimaniyyah is a monument reproducing in situ the famous scene upon the Naram-Sin stele discovered at Susa which, according to its own inscription, pictures the triumph of Naram-Sin over Satuni the king of Lullubi. This location, coupled with evidence from the topography of Assyrian campaigns against the Lullu, makes it appear that the centre of Lullubu was the valley of Shahrazur; a similar conclusion may be drawn from the geographical list of Sargon's empire which places Lullubi immediately after Arrapkha (Kirkuk). From this centre Lullu raiders sometimes marched out, and one of their penetrations reached the district of the modern Zuhab, near Sar-i Pul, for there has been found a well-known rock-relief with figures and the inscription of Annubanini, king of Lullubi, who writes in Agadean style a description of his monument and a long imprecation against any violator. The danger from this enemy is vividly recalled in a later and confused tradition, where he appears as father of a band of seven fearful ogres, with gruesome names invented to strike terror, who swept across the dominions of Naram-Sin leading a countless horde of monsters, laid waste Gutium and Elam, and were halted only at the shore of the Persian Gulf.

Not far away from his monument is another rock-relief with the name of Tar. . . dunni, doubtless another king of the Lullu. The Gutians are not so easy to fix upon the map; they were close neighbours, hardly to be distinguished from the Lullu, but no territorial monuments mark their abodes. Their descendants, called Qutu, can be found dubiously mentioned in the Man letters; but appear most prominently much later in the campaigns of Assyrian kings towards the end of the second millennium and subsequently. In those times they were a great and powerful, if loose-knit, people; their epithet was 'wide-spread' and their land seems to have been in the mountains south of the Lesser Zab, to the north of Sulaimaniyyah and of the legendary Mount Nisir, where the ark of the Babylonian Noah rested after the Deluge. The homes of these mountaineers, Guti as well as Lullu, are represented by parts of the territories occupied by the modern Kurds and Lurs, who have perhaps preserved the ancient names with some of the same turbulence.

It has been seen above that there was ruling over Elam in the days of Sargon a native dynasty seated in the city of Awan. The eighth and ninth members of this had been conquered by Sargon; no name of their successors appears among the coalition of rebels against Naram-Sin upon his succession, where the Elamite power is represented rather by the states of Markhashe and Mardaman. Probably contemporary of Naram-Sin in this dynasty was the eleventh king named Khita, and it is most likely he who figures in a treaty written in the Elamite language and made with Naram-Sin.

In Susa, always the most amenable to Babylonian influence, the ascendancy of Naram-Sin was almost complete. There he raised buildings constructed with his own inscribed bricks, set up his statues, and dedicated his trophies from Magan. In charge of this dependency he appointed a citygovernor named Epir-mupi. At this time so complete was the submergence of the native influences that even the documents of law and administration were written in the Akkadian, not the Elamite language; contracts, letters, lists, and even literary works are found in the all-conquering Akkadian. These tablets reveal that there was an active commerce carried on with Babylonia, for cities in the old land of Sumer, especially Shuruppak, Awal, and Umma are often named. This condition of affairs lasted as long as the office of Epir-mupi, who in later life was promoted to the status of governor-general over the whole of Elam. His successor was Puzur (Kutik)-In-Shushinak.

To seal his mastery of the 'four regions' Naram-Sin celebrated a triumph in the south over Manium, king of Magan. This is attested by the unimpeachable consent of his own inscriptions, of later omens and chronicles, and of existing alabaster vases inscribed with his name and the words ' booty of Magan'. These vases, combined with the names of Magan and Manium, have given a singular interest to this episode, for Magan was a name undoubtedly applied to Egypt in a later period of Babylonian history, and the vases have a distinct likeness to Egyptian alabaster vases, which more commonly bear inscriptions in the late Fifth and in the Sixth Dynasties, the dates of which accord well enough with that of Naram-Sin. It was natural, therefore, that the name of Manium, or Mannu, should recall Menes, traditionally the first king of United Egypt. But a synchronism is out of the question, for the beginning of the First Dynasty can by no means be reduced to the date of Naram-Sin, and the resemblance of the alabaster vases must be ascribed to no more than artistic influence and products emanating from Fifth Dynasty Egypt over trade routes to the east as they did to the north. There is no sufficient reason to believe that Naram-Sin can have been a foreign invader who helped to end the Sixth Dynasty in Egypt and to bring in its First Intermediate Period

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Victory Stele of Naram-Sin, King of Akkad

 

 

THE FACTS

 

Sargon was succeeded, as is now known, by his son Rimush (2279-2270), who reigned 9 years. Other sons were Ibarim and Amal-Ishdagal. The name Rimush has been read Urumush, but the city Ri-mu-ush in an inscription of Naram-Sin and on a Drehem tablet indicates the true rendering. Rimush is closely associated in history with his successor Manishtusu by the fact that both employed the title “king of universal dominion”, and for many years Assyriologists regarded them as kings of Kish.

When he came to the throne he found Sumer and Elam in revolt, as might be expected from the close of Sargon's reign. A certain Enimazag proclaimed himself king of Ur and already several southern cities recognized his authority. Rimush smote Ur and Umma, taking several thousand prisoners, and reached the shores of the lower sea. Kazalla, which had again revolted against the empire, was subdued on his return from Sumer. Der on the Elamite border was also subdued. Although Sargon had conquered Elam and Barakhsi, Rimush was compelled to reduce them again. Abalgamash, king of Barakhsi, between Susa and Awan, was defeated in battle and its governor, Sidgau, was captured. Rimush claims to have ruled the land of Elam, and in fact this warlike people seem really to have submitted to the kings of Akkad for a long period. He assumed the title “smiter of Barakhsi and Elam, and claims to have ruled the lands from thy Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, and all the mountain lands by which he probably means Elam, Commagene and Syria. He held the vast empire of Sargon intact and prepared a mighty heritage for the most glorious reign of the period, that of Naram-Sin.

Like Sargon, he ended his career in misfortune and Babylonian omen-books preserve traditions of his calamity. Two liver-omens preserve an evil portent of Rimush which preceded his death. They illustrate the method of divination. The lobus caudatus was like a new moon and the “sons of the palace” rose up and slew Rimush with their seals. The top of the gall-bladder turned toward a blister on the surface of the liver and enclosed marks which resembled weapons, and the “servants of his house rose up and killed him. The sons of the palace in the inscriptions of Sargon and Rimush refer to the officials of Agade, and the statement that the conspirators slew the king with their seals is entirely credible, as the seals of the period are noted for their extraordinary size and beauty.

His successor, Manishtusu (2269-2255), has commonly been regarded as the son of Sargon; traditions agree that his own successor, Naram-Sin, was his brother, and therefore a son of Sargon. His name, which is Semitic, probably means Who can (uproot) his foundation? Among the principal sources for the history of his reign are a large cruciform stone with twelve columns, chiefly concerned with the restoration of the temple and cult of the sun-god Shamash of Sippar, and a great obelisk, recording in 76 columns the details of his purchase of four estates. The latter contains the name of a witness, Sharru-kin-ili, Sargon is my god.

The founder of the kingdom did not actually receive divine honors; but a proper name of this kind in the time of his successor proves that he was regarded as at least semi-divine by his subjects at Agade.

Naram-Sin, the beloved of the moon-god, was the fourth king of Agade, and Babylonian tradition invariably states that he was the son of Sargon. Since at least 22 years must be assigned to the reigns of Manishtusu and Rimush, and since Sargon died in his old age, it is difficult to believe that Naram-Sin was the son of Sargon. If we allow 22 years for his two predecessors, and assume that he was born 20 years before the death of Sargon, he could have ascended the throne at the age of 42. The Nippur dynastic list has 56 for the years of his reign, and this would give him an age of 98 years.

The inscriptions of his own period almost invariably give Naram-Sin the rank of a deity; but later chroniclers omit the sign for god before his name, as they do in the case of the names of all the historic kings of Sumer and Akkad who had been deified. The deification of Roman emperors began in the Greek provinces long before the institution reached Rome itself, and the tendency to deify, which was one of the most important aspects of Sumerian religion, harmonized with the belief in the priesthood of kings.

The old patesis, or city-kings, were priests of the gods, and the title, patesi of a patron deity, was retained even when they became heads of kingdoms. Three kings of the prehistoric Sumerian dynasty of Erech had enjoyed apotheosis. Eannatum and his successors at Lagash were hailed as children who had been nourished by the milk of the mother-goddess, and Lugal-Zaggisi was said to have been the son of Nidaba, the mother-goddess of his native city, Umma, and nourished on the milk of the great Ninkharsag. Already, in pre-Sargonic Sumer, human kings were compared to Tammuz, the divine son of Innini, the principal type of mother-goddess. The belief in the king's divine origin is based upon his supposed miraculous birth from one of the unmarried mother-goddesses. The institution was made possible by the very ancient cult of Tammuz, the dying son of Innini. The only inscriptions of Naram-Sin's period which neglect the divine title are one inscribed on a vase from Magan and found at Babylon, that is, near his own capital, and one written by his son Lipitili. A tablet-copy of the inscriptions on his monuments dedicated in E-kur at Nippur omits the determinative for god, but their historians habitually deprived the ancient kings of this title.

The order of events in his reign is uncertain. Limestone door-sockets from the temple of the god Lugal-maradda, built by Lipitili, patesi in Maradda, have an historical introduction which states that the building was erected in the year after Naram-Sin had defeated nine armies and had captured their three kings. These three kings were brought prisoners before Enlil, even as Sargon had brought Lugal-Zagesi in chains before the same god at Nippur. In virtue of his vast empire Naram-Sin here assumed the title king of the four regions, and henceforth the title “king of universal dominion” is dropped, and Kish, jealous of the new capital at Agade, organized a great coalition against him. This probably explains the rejection of the title which in itself recognized the ancient prerogatives of Kish.

 

NARAM-SIN'S CONQUESTS

 

The four regions revolted under Ipkhur-Kish of Kish, and the leading cities of the coalition include the principal cities of his own land Akkad, four cities of Elam and Erech, the greatest city of Sumer. He refers to the ingratitude of Kish, who had been freed by his father Sargon from their oppression by the king of Erech, and had now revolted against the son of their deliverer and joined their ancient foes. Apparently more than half his own Semitic province had revolted; even Sippar, a few miles from his capital and the centre of the cult of the old Semitic sun-god, was found among his enemies. Ipkhur-Kish, the chief of the coalition, assembled his armies in the fortresses of Tiwa and Urumum in the Plain of Sinâ and in the fortress of Bit-Sabad, the temple of Gula. (The temple of Gula at Babylon was named E-sabad.) The inscription ends abruptly with the names of ten kings and gives no information concerning his victory. These ten kings do not appear to have been in the coalition which raised Ipkhur-Kish to the kingship; they are rather a summary of Naram-Sin's expeditions and invasions.

The list comprises (1) Puttimadal, king of Shimurru, a land west of the Zagros mountains. (2) Inmash of Namar, in the region of Samarra, east of the Tigris. Three centuries later a Hittite-Mitannian people lived here, and In, 'lord', the first syllable of the name Inmash (or Inbar), suggests the presence of a Mitannian people already. The third on the list is Rish-Adad, king of Apirak; the conquest of which was regarded by subsequent chroniclers as the most important event in the reign of Naram-Sin. Also the Omens give this deed the first place in his career. Apirak may be identical with Abiak, a city near Timtab. Its king, Rish-Adad, as also its later patesi, Sharrubani, bear Semitic names.

On the Obelisk of Manishtusu the names of most of the citizens of Timtab are Semitic. Kazalla, the Elamitic province in which lay Timtab, Apirak and Awan, had still an Elamitic king in the days of Sargon; but the names of its citizens and patesis in the later period of Ur are mostly Semitic. Such facts are important for the racial conditions of the peoples east of the Tigris in the Zagros area in the first half of the third millennium. In the Elamite regions south of the Diyala are Semites who are evidently not natives but immigrants from Akkad, for whom the repeated invasions of the kings of Agade had prepared the way. North of the Diyala Hittite-Mitanni peoples seem to have occupied the hill-lands of Shimurru, and the plains of the Tigris above the Adhem, as well as the central plain of Subartu. Here they maintained for centuries a tenacious resistance towards the Semites, who were also pushing northward along the Euphrates. In Lulubu, soon after the period of Agade, Annubanini reigned; on the stele at Seripul this king is represented in bas-relief with full beard and shaven lips standing before a well-sculptured figure of the Semitic war-goddess, Ishtar. The inscription is written in Semitic, but proves that the religion of Lulubu in the twenty-seventh century was Sumerian, like that of the Semites of Akkad. The king himself, as here represented, is hardly a Semite, and it has been argued that his name and those of his wife and brother belong to the Caspian-Elamitic languages.

The fourth on the list is Migir-Dagan, king of Maer. The presence of a Semitic kingdom in the old Sumerian district of Maer in Syria on the Euphrates is another indication of Semitic power in Mesopotamia. The important deity Dagan, who appears here for the first time, seems to have been the prehistoric god of the land of Maer whose capital was Tirka, now the village Isharah on the Euphrates below the mouth of the Khabur river.

The fifth and sixth kings are Khubtakkibi of Markhashi and Dukhsusu of Mardaman, of which the latter, like the former, was probably in Elam. The seventh in the list is Manium, king of Maganna(ki). The chroniclers regard the conquest of Magan as the event of second importance in the reign of Naram-Sin, and the books of omens also record the signs on the liver which led to the subjection of the 'Land Maganna'. The Chronicle states that he went to Maganna and captured Mannu-dannu, its king. A marble vase from Magan, with the inscription 'Naram-Sin, king of the four regions, a vase, booty of Magan', was carried away to Elam, and a fragment has been recovered at Susa. Naram-Sin made a statue of himself of diorite which he brought from the mountains of Magan, and dedicated to Shamash in Sippar; and this object was also plundered by the Elamites, and all but the feet and base mutilated. According to the fragmentary inscription he smote Magan and captured its king Manium in the year after he had defeated nine armies and bound their three kings. The full name of this king may have been, therefore, Mannu-dannu, Who is mighty. Magan, a compound of the Sumerian Ma, 'ship,' was so named because its inhabitants were a sea-going people; and a text of the period of Dungi from Lagash speaks of the shipwrights of Magan. Sumerian inscriptions consistently combine Magan with Melukhkha, which later at all events is Ethiopia, but originally denoted Oman and the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf. The dates of Magan and Melukhkha are associated with those of Dilmun on the Persian Gulf. Magan was called the mountain of copper, and its famous black diorite differs geologically from Egyptian diorite. A Sumerian epic concerning the fates decreed by the war-god Ninurasha for various stones sang of the mountain Makkan as the land of dolerite. Gudea, too, mentions the timber which came from Magan, Melukhkha, Gubin and Dilmun. Magan, or Makkan, was a coast-land of the Persian Gulf, probably the modern el-Hasa, and the classical Gerra. It was a land famous also for goats, and in the Sumerian legend of Dilmun, or Epic of Paradise, the deity of Magan is called Nindulla, “queen of the flocks”.' The reference to Magan as the copper mountain seems to indicate the inclusion of the Jebel Akhdar of Oman where copper is still found.

Manium of Magan was honored by having his name given to the city Manium-(ki), which is mentioned in a temple record of the period of Dungi, four centuries after Naram-Sin. The inhabitants of Magan were loyal Sumerians who sent tribute to the great cults of Sumer. The land was also famous for the stone called gug (Sumerian) or samtu (Assyrian), which is supposed to be the Hebrew shohan (?onyx, beryl).

An old caravan route crosses the Arabian peninsula from Jidda via Mecca and the Jebel Shammar and reaches Babylonia in the region of Babylon. This is the historic Pilgrim route of the eastern Mohammedans to Mecca. A northern branch of this route from Yambu el-Bahr and Medina joins the main road in the Jebel Sham-mar. A Semitic kingdom, in the age of Naram-Sin, in Hijaz and in the land of the Minaeans may reasonably be expected and the language would naturally be closely related to the Babylonian. The conquest of this region may have been made by the overland route via the Jebel Shammar, or more probably by the long sea voyage via Dilmun, Gubin and Melukhkha. Gudea speaks of bringing stones from lands distant a whole year's journey; and from the time of Naram-Sin onward the statuary and sculptured monuments of Sumer and Akkad are chiefly made from diorite of Magan. For these reasons many scholars have argued that Manium was a Semite and that Magan included Sinai and even Egypt, but the geographical survey of Sargon, which states that Melukhkha was reached after a march of 120 hours from the reservoir of the Euphrates, fixes at once the general location of nine armies with their three kings and in the invasion of Magan. The title conquerors of nine armies, which he assumes on the Susa statue and the Maradda temple inscription, probably refers to the rebellion of Erech, Umma and Nippur, whose kings, Lugal-Anna, Arad-Enlil and Amar-Enlil, are the last of the ten. The invasion of Magan was then undertaken after the conquest of these sea-lands. On his return from that region he found Akkad, Sumer and Elam in revolt. It is astonishing that Naram-Sin had the military resources to meet such opposition. Little of his own Akkad remained loyal to him. Certainly, Maer and the western provinces conquered for Agade by his predecessors had no interest in aiding him to suppress the rebellion. His survival must be attributed to a well-organized army trained to obedience and loyalty by his predecessors. Like Sargon he also invaded Syria and reached the sea. A perforated stone tablet used as a pedestal for an emblem, and a marble vase, dedicated to the temple of Lagash, were both inscribed with the record of his victories in the far west: “The divine Naram-Sin, the mighty king of the four regions, smiter of Armanu and Ibla”. A standing figure of the king in bas-relief is preserved in the mountain lands in Kurdistan at Pir Hussein, a village 20 miles north-east of Diarbekr on the Ambar Su, a branch of the Tigris. He wears the Sumerian kaunakes of the period draped from the left shoulder, and seizes the handle of a sword in his right hand in attitude of defence. The left hand, tightly pressed to the waist, holds the shaft of a sceptre. A badly damaged inscription in four columns refers to the making of the stele and utters a curse upon him who destroys it. From a phrase he turned back the breast, it is evident that he opposed invaders, possibly the Hittites, who were seeking to descend upon Mesopotamia from beyond the Taurus.

 

NARAM-SIN AND THE STELE OF VICTORY

 

The most famous monument of Naram-Sin is his remarkable Stele of Victory dedicated to the sun-god in Sippar and carried away to Susa by Shutruk-Nakhkhunte. The monument is of yellow sandstone probably obtained from Kurdistan and transported to Sippar. The king in Semitic dress ascends a mountain beside one of whose peaks his conquered foes kneel in supplication. The field at the summit of the stele is occupied by eight-pointed stars with streaming rays, insignia of Ishtar the goddess of Agade and genius of war. The delicate but firm execution of each figure, the simplicity and strength of the composition, reveal an imperial art and prove that the sculptors of Agade were more than provincial craftsmen. It seems unmistakably to reveal the influence of Egyptian art of the IInd and IIIrd Dynasties. Shutruk-Nakhkhunte, justly proud of the magnificent stele which he had plundered from Sippar, inscribed his own Anzanite inscription on a surface which has not destroyed the figures. The original inscription, of which all but a few words are destroyed, told how the kings of the lands east of the Tigris in the Zagros mountains including Lulubu assembled to oppose the divine Naram-Sin.

Naram-Sin's statue of himself in E-kur dedicated to Enlil refers to his conflict with Kharshamatki, lord of Aram and Am in the mountain Tibar, possibly identical with the land Tabal of Assyrian inscriptions and the people Tibareni of classical geography. In the Assyrian period this land, the Tubal of Ezekiel, lay considerably south of its later site on the shores of the Black Sea. The conquest of Aram and Am possibly formed part of the expedition into Kurdistan commemorated by the stele near Diarbekr, and would indicate that this energetic warrior advanced beyond the Anti-taurus in Armenia. If so, his empire may have extended from Armenia to the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, from Elam and the Zagros mountains to the Mediterranean coast. The four regions bowed before him in unison, so runs a fragment of a statue; and the best evidence of the recognition of his authority throughout this great empire is the existence of the written documents of the patesis some of them his own sons whom he appointed in various cities. His son Lipitili received the province of Maradda. Another son, Nabi-Kibmash, was made patesi of Tutu-(ki), whose daughter, Lipushiaum, was a musician of the temple of Sin (at Ur). A third son, Bingalisharri, apparently did not receive a province.

The kings of Agade appointed native Sumerian patesis over the old cities of the south, but they distrusted the Elamites and appointed Semitic patesis to Susa. A fragmentary tablet written in Anzanite seems to be a treaty between Naram-Sin and a king of Elam. “The enemy of Naram-Sin is my enemy and the friend (?) of Naram-Sin is my friend (?) is the most noteworthy phrase of this document, which follows the invocation of a long list of Elamite gods and the god Amal, of Agade. The information of this important document, the oldest known Anzanite inscription, is meagre, but it confirms the submission of Elam to the empire of Agade.

 

LAGASH AND NIPPUR UNDER NARAM-SIN

 

Lugal-ushumgal, patesi at Lagash, seems to have exercised a marked influence upon the affairs of his city. He rose to the prefecture of his city from the office of a scribe, and was one of the energetic patesis who revived the culture and the art of Lagash. This city under the beneficent rule of Agade was no longer embarrassed by the jealousy of its neighbors and a period of glorious revival, culminating in the reign of the famous Gudea, now begins. Lugal-ushumgal showed his gratitude to the emperor by dedicating his seal to the Divine Naram-Sin, the mighty, the god of Agade; he also enjoyed the patronage of Sharkalisharri, who kept him in office. He revived the old Lagash method of dating tablets by the year of his patesi-ship, an unusual procedure for a patesi who was supposed to adopt the official system of the empire. A number of his business records have been recovered, principally the purchase of slaves; the names of the citizens of Lagash are still almost exclusively Sumerian, but Semitic words appear in the letters and contracts of the period at Lagash. This reveals the increasing prominence of the Semite in Sumer. The state archives prove that Lagash sent heavy tribute in grain, sheep and cattle, gold and silver, salt and fish to Agade, of which the king and queen received the principal portions. Lagash was also obliged to send relays of labourers and skilled workmen to the capital. The administrative office of the affairs of state under the empire of Agade lay in the western part of the city at some distance from the old city archives. The frequent mention of Lugal-ushumgal, the patesi, in the state records of Lagash in this period shows that he administered the affairs of the province with success over a long period.

Nippur, on the other hand, does not appear to have possessed men of great administrative ability who figure largely in the history of the city and the period. But the religious prestige of the city enjoyed the benefaction of the emperors, and three tablets at Lagash are dated by the formula: In the year when the Divine Naram-Sin laid the foundations of the temple of Enlil in Nippur and of the temple of Innini in Ninni-Ab' (south of Nippur towards Umma).

Naram-Sin's great reputation as a builder of temples is made particularly evident by the inscriptions of the last kings of Babylon, Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus. Nebuchadrezzar claims to have rebuilt the temple of Maradda upon the ancient foundation of Naram-Sin, but makes no mention of his son, Lipitili, who actually built the temple for his father. Nabonidus, in his accounts of the rebuilding of E-barra, the temple of the sun-god in Sippar, says that he excavated to the foundation of Naram-Sin, who reigned 3200 years before his own work at Sippar (553). The date (3753) thus assigned to him by the royal antiquary cannot possibly be correct. His buildings at Nippur and Adab are found only a foot or two below the works of the next great restorer of Sumerian temples, Ur-Engur, who reigned at the beginning of the twenty-fifth century; and between the dynasty of Agade and that of Ur-Engur the dynastic list gives a period of only 151 years plus an unknown dynasty at Uruk, to which 50 years may be assigned. The figures of Nabonidus for Naram-Sin are almost exactly 1000 years too high

 

 

 

SHAR-KALI-SHARRI

(2217-2193 BC)