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(2350-2318 BC)





THE sack and destruction of Lagash, which has been described in the preceding chapter, closes an epoch, not only in the fortunes of that city, but also in the history of the lands of Sumer and Akkad. When following the struggles of the early city-states, we have hitherto been able to arrange our material in strict chronological order by the help of a nearly unbroken succession of rulers, whose inscriptions have been recovered during the French excavations at Tello. These have enabled us to reconstruct the history of Lagash herself in some detail, and from the references they furnish to other great cities it has been possible to estimate the influence she exerted from time to time among her neighbours. It is true that the records, from which our information is derived, were drawn up by the rulers of Lagash whose deeds they chronicle, and are naturally far from being impartial authorities. A victory may sometimes have been claimed, when the facts may not have fully justified it; and to this extent we have been forced to view the history of Sumer and of Akkad from the standpoint of a single city. Had the sites of other cities yielded as rich a harvest as Tello, it is probable that other states would be found to have played no less important parts. But in any case it may be regarded as certain that for a time at least Lagash enjoyed the hegemony which it was the ambition of every state of Sumer and Akkad to possess. This leading position had been definitely secured to her by the conquests of Eannatum, and, although under his successors her influence may have diminished, it must have still remained considerable until the victory of Umma put an end to it.

Lugal-zaggisi, the conqueror of Lagash, is mentioned by name in the document from which our knowledge of the catastrophe is derived. The unknown writer of that composition, as we have already seen, assigns to him the title "patesi of Umma", and, had we no other information concerning him, we might perhaps have concluded that his success against the ancient rival of his own city was merely an isolated achievement. In the long-continued struggle between these neighbouring states Umma had finally proved victorious, and the results of this victory might have been regarded as of little more than local importance. (It has indeed been suggested that, as Urukagina is termed "King of
Girsu" in the lament on the fall of Lagash, he may have survived the catastrophe and continued to rule as king in Girsu; but it is scarcely probable that Lugal-zaggisi, after sacking and burning the greater part of the city, would have permitted him to do so). But, even before the
discovery of the record, Lugal-zaggisi's name was known as that of a great conqueror, and it will be seen that his defeat of Urukagina was only one step in a career of conquest, in the course of which he subdued the whole of Sumer and consolidated a dominion as great as, if not greater than, any hitherto acquired by the ruler of a city-state. The inscription from which we obtain our knowledge of Lugal-zaggisi's career is engraved upon a number of fragments of vases, made of white calcite stalagmite, which were discovered at Nippur during the excavations carried out by the University of Pennsylvania. All the vases were broken into small pieces, but, as each had been engraved with the same inscription, it was found possible, by piecing the fragments together, to reconstruct a more or less complete copy of the text. From this we learn that Lugal-zaggisi had dedicated the vases to Enlil, and had deposited them as votive offerings in the great temple of E-kur.

Fortunately, Lugal-zaggisi prefaces his record of their dedication with a long list of his own titles and achievements, which make up the greater part of the inscription. From this portion of the text we gather considerable information with regard to the cities under his control, and the limits of the empire to which he laid claim at the time the record was drawn up. The text opens with an enumeration of the royal titles, in which Lugal-zaggisi is described as "King of Erech, king of the land, priest of Ana, prophet of Nidaba; the son of Ukush, patesi of Umma, the prophet of Nidaba; he who was favourably regarded by Ana, the king of the lands; the great patesi of Enlil; endowed with understanding by Enki; whose name was spoken by Babbar (the Sun-god); the chief minister of Enzu (the Moon-god); the representative of Babbar; the patron of Ninni; the son of Nidaba, who was nourished with holy milk by Ninkharsag; the servant of the god Mes, who is the priest of Erech; the pupil of Ninabukhadu, the mistress of Erech; the great minister of the gods." Lugal-zaggisi then goes on to state in general terms the limits of his dominion. "When the god Enlil, the king of the lands," he says, "had bestowed upon Lugal-zaggisi the kingdom of the land, and had granted him success in the eyes of the land, and when his might had cast the lands down, and he had conquered them from the rising of the sun unto the setting of the same, at that time he made straight his path from the Lower Sea (over) the Euphrates and the Tigris unto the Upper Sea. From the rising of the sun unto the setting of the same has Enlil granted him dominion. . . ." It is to Enlil, the chief of the gods, that, in accordance with the practice of the period, he ascribes the dominion which has been granted him to administer.

The phrases in which Lugal-zaggisi defines the limits of his empire are sufficiently striking, and it will be necessary to enquire into their exact significance. But before doing so it will be well to continue quoting from the inscription, which proceeds to describe the benefits which the king has conferred upon different cities of his realm. Referring to the peace and prosperity which characterized Lugal-zaggisi's reign, the record states that "he caused the lands to dwell in security, he watered the land with waters of joy. In the shrines of Sumer did they set him up to be the patesi of the lands, and in Erech (they appointed him) to be chief priest. At that time he made Erech bright with joy; like a bull he raised the head of Ur to heaven; Larsa, the beloved city of the Sun-god, he watered with waters of joy; Umma, the beloved city of the god . . ., he raised to exalted power; as a ewe that . . . her lamb, has he made Ninni-esh resplendent; the summit of Kianki has he raised to heaven". Then follows the votive portion of the text and the prayer of dedication, with which for the moment we have no concern.

From the extracts which have been quoted from Lugal-zaggisi's inscription, it will have been seen that he claims a jurisdiction far wider than might have been expected to belong to a patesi of Umma. But the text itself explains the apparent discrepancy, and shows that, while Lugal-zaggisi's inheritance was a patesiate, he won by his own exertions the empire over which he subsequently ruled. It will be noticed that while he claims for himself the titles "King of Erech" and "king of the land", i.e. of Sumer, he ascribes to his father Ukush only the title "patesi of Umma". It is therefore clear that his father's authority did not reach beyond the limits of his native city, and we may conclude that such was the extent of the patesiate of Umma when Lugal-zaggisi himself came to the throne. The later titles, which he assumes on the vases found at Nippur, prove that at the time they were inscribed he had already established his authority throughout Sumer and had removed his seat of government from Umma to Erech. That the latter city had become his capital is clear from the precedence which he gives to the designation "King of Erech" over his other titles of honour; and, in accordance with this change of residence, he details the new relations into which he has entered with the deities of that city. Thus he is the servant of Mes and the pupil of Ninabukhadu, the divine priest and the mistress of Erech; and in a special sense he has become the patron of Ninni, the chief seat of whose worship was at Erech, in her great temple E-anna. Ana, too, the father of the gods, had his temple in Erech, and so Lugal-zaggisi naturally became his priest and enjoyed his special favour. It was probably in consequence of Ana's close connection with his new capital that Lugal-zaggisi ascribes to him the title "king of the lands", which by right belonged only to Enlil of Nippur; and we may note that in the prayer of dedication on the vases it is with Ana that Enlil is besought to intercede on behalf of the king.

Although Lugal-zaggisi had changed his capital and no longer continued to use his father's title as patesi of Umma, he naturally did not neglect his native city; moreover, he retained the title "prophet of Nidaba", and thereby continued to claim the protection of the city-goddess, who, before his recent victories, had been his patroness and that of his father before him. He even emphasized his dependence upon her by styling himself her son, and in another passage he boasts that he had raised the city of Umma to power. High in his favour also stood Ur, the city of the Moon-god, and Larsa, the city of the Sun-god; and the less-known cities of Ninni-esh and Kianki are also selected for mention as having been specially favoured by him. At first sight it is not clear on what principle the names of these cities are selected from among all those in the land of Sumer, which were presumably within the circle of his authority. That Erech, Ur, and Larsa should be referred to is natural enough, for they were close to one another, and would thus form the centre and nucleus of his dominion; and the king would naturally devote himself to improving their canalization and beautifying them by the erection of new buildings. It is not improbable that we may explain the mention of Ninni-esh and Kianki on the same principle : they probably stood in the immediate neighbourhood of the three greater cities, or of Umma, and thus participated in the benefits which they enjoyed.

In any case, the absence of a city's name from Lugal-zaggisi's list is not necessarily to be taken as implying that it was not included within the limits of his dominion. This is proved by the fact that Lagash is not referred to, although it was probably one of his earliest conquests. In fact, the king's object in composing the earlier part of his inscription was not to give an accurate analysis of the extent and condition of his empire, but merely to enumerate the cities he had particularly favoured, and to record the names of those deities with whom he stood in particularly close relations. For instance, we may conclude that although the city of Eridu is not referred to by name, it nevertheless formed part of Lugal-zaggisi's kingdom. There is thus every reason to regard his dominion as having been co-extensive with the whole of Sumer, and his title "king of the land" was probably based on a confederation of all the Sumerian city-states.

A more difficult problem is presented by what at first sight appears to be a claim to a still wider empire, which follows Lugal-zaggisi's titles at the end of the first and the beginning of the second column of his inscription. He here states that, after Enlil had bestowed on him the kingdom of the land (that is, of Sumer), and had granted him success in the eyes of the land, and when his might had cast the lands down and he had conquered them from East to West, at that time Enlil "made straight his path from the Lower Sea (over) the Euphrates and the Tigris unto the Upper Sea". The Lower Sea is clearly the Persian Gulf, and by the Upper Sea it is probable that the Mediterranean is intended, rather than Lake Urmi or Lake Van. On the basis of this passage Lugal-zaggisi has been credited with having consolidated and ruled an empire extending from the Persian Gulf to the shores of the Mediterranean. In other words, he would have included Akkad and Syria along with Sumer within the limits of his rule.

It is true that Shar-Gani-sharri of Akkad, at a rather later period, did succeed in establishing an empire of this extent, but there are difficulties in the way of crediting Lugal-zaggisi with a like achievement. For Erech, the capital of his kingdom, was in Southern Babylonia, and, unlike the city of Akkad, was not well adapted to form the centre of an administrative area extending so far to the north and west. Moreover, the actual phrase employed by Lugal-zaggisi does not necessarily imply a claim to dominion within these regions, but may be taken as commemorating little more than a victorious raid, during which he may have penetrated to the Syrian coast. Such an expedition, so far as we know, must have marked a new departure from the policy hitherto followed by the rulers of Sumerian city-states, and its successful prosecution would have fully justified the language in which it is recorded. In view of these considerations, it is preferable to regard Lugal-zaggisi's kingdom, in the strict sense of the word, as having been confined to Sumer. Of his relations to Akkad and the northern cities we have no evidence on which to form an opinion. We shall presently see reasons for believing that at about this period, or a little later, the state of Kish secured the hegemony in Northern Babylonia, and, in view of the absence of any reference to it in Lugal-zaggisi's inscription, we may perhaps conclude that in his time the city had already laid the foundations of its later power.

It was probably after his successful return from the long expedition in the north-west that Lugal-zaggisi deposited his vases as votive offerings within Enlil's shrine at Nippur, and engraved upon them the inscrip­tions from which we obtain our information concerning his reign. In the third column of his text he states that he has dedicated them to Enlil, after having made due offerings of loaves in Nippur and having poured out pure water as a libation. He then adds a prayer of dedication, in which he prays for life for himself, and peace for his land, and a large army. "May Enlil, the king of the lands", he says, "pronounce my prayer to Ana, his beloved father! To my life may he add life! May he cause the lands to dwell in security! Warriors as numerous as the grass may he grant me in abundance! Of the celestial folds may he take care! May he look with kindness on the land (of Sumer)! May the gods not alter the good destiny they have assigned to me! May I always be the shepherd, who leads (his flock)!". We may regard it as typical of the great conqueror that he should pray for a supply of warriors "as numerous as the grass".

It is fortunate for our knowledge of early Sumerian history that the shrine of Enlil at Nippur should have been the depository for votive offerings, brought thither by the rulers of city-states to commemorate their victories. Of the inscribed objects of this class that were recovered at Nippur during the American excavations on that site, by far the most important are the vase-fragments of Lugal-zaggisi, which have already been described. But others were found, which, though supplying less detailed information, are of considerable value, since they furnish the names of other rulers of Sumer, who may probably be grouped with Lugal-zaggisi. Two kings of this period are Lugal-kigub-nidudu and Lugal-kisalsi, each of whom bore the title "King of Erech" and "King of Ur", while the former, like Lugal-zaggisi, styles himself in addition "king of the land", i.e. of Sumer. Their inscriptions were found in the mound of Nippur at about the same level as the vase-fragments of Lugal-zaggisi, and a comparison of the characters employed in each set of texts suggests that they date from about the same period.

That Lugal-kigub-nidudu and Lugal-kisalsi are in any case to be set before the time of Shar-Gani-sharri of Akkad is proved by the fact that one of the rough blocks of diorite, which the former had dedicated to Enlil after inscribing his name upon it, was afterwards used by Shar-Gani-sharri as a door-socket in the temple he erected at Nippur. Whether they lived still earlier than Lugal-zaggisi it is difficult to decide. The longest inscription of Lugal-kigub-nidudu which has been recovered is engraved upon a vase which he deposited as a votive offering in Enlil's temple, and from the introductory phrases preceding the dedication it would appear that he founded a kingdom, or at any rate enlarged one which he already possessed. "When Enlil, the king of the lands," the passage runs, "(had spoken) to Lugal-kigub-nidudu and had addressed a favourable word to him, and had united the dominion with the kingdom, of Erech he made a dominion, of Ur he made a kingdom". It would thus seem that Lugal-kigub-nidudu had at first been possessed of only one of the two cities, Erech or Ur, and that he subsequently acquired the other, probably by conquest, and proceeded to rule them both under separate administrations.

Too much emphasis is not to be set on the fact that he describes his rule of Erech as a lordship or a dominion, while he styles that of Ur a kingdom; for the difference in these phrases was not very marked in the pre-Sargonic period, and it is to be noted that Erech is mentioned before Ur. Moreover, Lugal-kisalsi assigns the title "King of Erech" as well as "King of Ur" to his predecessor as to himself, and, since he places the former title first, it is probable that Erech and not Ur was their capital. But even on this assumption it does not follow that Erech was Lugal-kigub-nidudu's native city, for we have seen that when Lugal-zaggisi conquered Sumer he transferred his capital to Erech, and Lugal-kigub-nidudu may have done the same. The fact that at a later period Gudea, when rebuilding the temple E-ninnu, came across a stele of Lugal-kisalsi suggests that he exercised authority over Lagash; and we may probably conclude that both he and Lugal-kigub-nidudu included the principal cities of Southern Babylonia under their sway. That Lugal- kisalsi followed and did not precede Lugal-kigub-nidudu upon the dual throne of Erech and Ur is certain from one of his votive inscriptions, which contains a reference to the earlier king. The beginning of the text is wanting, so that it is not clear whether he mentions him as his father or in some other connection. In any case we may assume that he followed him at no long interval; but it is not yet certain whether we are to set their reigns in Sumer before or after that of Lugal- zaggisi.

The same uncertainty applies to another ruler of this period, who bore the name of Enshagkushanna and assumed the titles "lord of Sumer" and "king of the land". Two of his inscriptions have been recovered upon fragments of vases, which were found at Nippur at the same level as those already described, and one of these is of considerable interest, for it gives us the name of an enemy of Sumer who has already bulked largely in the earlier history of Lagash. The inscription in question consists of only a few words, and reads: "Enshagkushanna has vowed to Enlil the booty of Kish, the wicked". It is clear from the epithet applied to Kish that at this period, as in the time of Eannatum, the northern city was a terror to the Sumerian states in the south, and we may assume that war between them was not of infrequent occurrence. It was after some successful raid or battle in the north that Enshag­kushanna dedicated a portion of the spoil to Enlil in his temple of E-kur. Similar fragments of vases have been found at Nippur, the inscriptions upon which testify to other successes against Kish, achieved by a king of Sumer, who probably reigned at a period rather earlier than Enshagkushanna, Lugal-kigub-nidudu, and even Lugal-zaggisi.

Although fragments of no less than four of his vase-inscriptions have been discovered, the name of this Sumerian king unfortunately does not occur on any one of them. In the longest of the texts he takes the title of "king", and in the gap that follows we may probably restore the phrase "of the land", that is, of Sumer; on two of them, like the other Sumerian kings we have referred to, he ascribes his installation in the government of the country to Enlil, the god of Nippur. All four inscriptions were drawn up on the same occasion, and commemorate a striking victory this unknown Sumerian ruler had achieved over the northern cities of Kish and Opis. Of the two conquered cities Kish was clearly the more important, for its devastation is recorded in each of the texts, whereas Opis is only mentioned in one of them. Each city was ruled by a separate king, whose overthrow is recorded on the vases, but, since they were defeated in the same battle, we may conjecture that they formed the centre of a single confederation or dominion, of which Kish was the head. In two of the texts the king of Kish is referred to, not only by his title, but by name, and, since he bore the Semitic name of Enbi-Ishtar, we may conclude that at this period Kish, and probably Opis and other northern cities, were already under Semitic domination. In the war these cities were waging with the south, the vases record what appears to have been a serious check to the increase of Semitic influence and power. For not only was Enbi-Ishtar defeated, but both Kish and Opis were sacked, and the Sumerian king returned southward laden with booty, including statues, precious metals, and rare stones. The vases on which he recorded his victory formed part of the spoil captured in the north. They were fashioned of white calcite stalagmite, dark brown sandstone, and dark brown tufa or igneous rock. In the land of Sumer, where stone was a rare commodity, these were highly prized objects, and they formed a fitting thank-offering for presentation at Enlil's shrine.

We have already referred to the question as to the nationality of the still earlier kings of Kish, Mesilim and his successors, some of whom we know to have been contemporary with the earlier rulers of Lagash. At that period the northern city had already succeeded in imposing its authority upon some of the city-states of Sumer, and later on both Kish and Opis are proved to have been engaged in active warfare in the south. Too little evidence is available for determining definitely whether these earlier kings and patesis were of Sumerian or Semitic stock, but there is much to be said in favour of regarding the later conflicts between the north and south as merely a continuation of the earlier struggle. With Enbi-Ishtar we meet at any rate with a name that is genuinely Semitic, and we shall presently see reasons for believing that other Semitic kings of Kish, whose inscriptions and monuments have been recovered, should be placed in the same period. According to this view, as we have already pointed out, the first Semitic immigration into Northern Babylonia, or Akkad, is not to be synchronized with the empire of Akkad, which was founded by Shar-Gani-sharri (Sargon) and consolidated by Naram-Sin. In spite of the absence of Semitic idiom from the few short votive inscriptions of the earlier kings of Kish that have as yet been found, the possibility must not be disregarded that they too date from a period of Semitic and not of Sumerian domination in the north. At Sippar also we have evidence of very early Semitic occupation.

One of this later group of kings of Kish, whose inscriptions prove them to have been Semites, is Uru-mush, or llimush, and, although in all probability the latest of them, he may be referred to first, since we have definite evidence that he is to be assigned to the epoch preceding Sargon and Naram-Sin. In an unpublished tablet from Tello, preserved in the Museum at Constantinople, there occurs the proper name Ili-Urumush, "My god is Urumush". The deification of some of the early kings of Babylonia has long been recognized as having taken place, at any rate from the time of Shar-kalli-sharri (Sargon); and we have evidence that the honour was not only paid to them after death, but was assumed by the kings themselves during their own lifetime. The occurrence of a proper name such as Ili-Urumush can only be explained on the supposition that a king bearing the name of Urumush had already reigned, or was reigning at the time the former name was employed. Now, the tablet in Constantinople, which mentions the name of Ili-Urumush, is undated, but from its form, writing, and contents it may clearly be assigned to the same epoch as certain dated tablets of Shar-Gani-sharri and Naram-Sin with which it was found. From this it follows that Urumush was anterior to Shar-Gani-sharri and Naram-Sin, though his reign may not have been separated from theirs by any long interval.

We have but a few short inscriptions of Urumush, and those of a votive character, but they enable us to form some estimate of the extent and condition of his empire. The only designation he assumes in those of his inscriptions that have been recovered is " King of Kish," so that we are without the information which might have been derived from a study of his subsidiary titles. Such titles would no doubt have been added in any lengthy text, and their absence from his known inscriptions is simply due to their brevity. On the other hand, the fact that these short inscriptions have been found on sites so widely scattered as Abu Habba, Niffer, and Tello, is probably significant. The inscriptions from Abu Habba and Tello consist simply of his name and title engraved on fragments of stone vases, and, since they bear no dedication to a local deity, they might possibly have been carried there as spoil from Kish. But fragments of precisely similar vases, bearing the same inscription, have been found at Niffer, and, as the texts upon two other vases from the latter place prove that they weredeposited there by Urumush himself, it is a fair assumption that their presence on the other two sites is to be explained in the same way. We may therefore conclude that both Sippar and Lagash were under the control of Urumush. In other words, it is not improbable that the limits of his authority in Babylonia extended from the extreme north of Akkad to the south of Sumer.

It is fully in accordance with this view that Urumush should have controlled the central sanctuary at Nippur, and his vases found upon that site, which bear dedications to Enlil, prove that this was so. From one of them we learn too that the power of Kish was felt beyond the limits of Sumer and Akkad. The text in question states that the vase upon which it is inscribed formed part of certain spoil from Elam, and was dedicated to Enlil by Urumush, "when he had conquered Elam and Barakhsu". It is possible that the conquest of Elam and the neighbouring district of Barakhsu, to which Urumush here lays claim, was not more than a successful raid into those countries, from which he returned laden with spoil. But even so, the fact that a king of Kish was strong enough to assume the offensive against Elam, and to lead an expedition across the border, is sufficiently noteworthy. The references to Elam which we have hitherto noted in the inscriptions from Tello would seem to suggest that up to this time the Elamites had been the aggressors, and had succeeded in penetrating into Sumerian territory from which they were with difficulty dislodged. Under Urumush the conditions were reversed, and we shall shortly see reason for believing that his success was not a solitary achievement, but may be connected with other facts in the history of Kish under the Semitic rulers of this period. Meanwhile we may note the testimony to the power and extent of the kingdom of Kish, which is furnished by the short inscriptions of his reign. Later tradition relates that Urumush met his end in a palace revolution; but the survival of his name in the omen-literature of the later Babylonians and Assyrians is further evidence of the important part he played in the early history of their country.

the Obelisk of Manishtusu

Another king of Kish, whose name has been recovered in short votive inscriptions from Abu Habba and Niffer is Manishtusu. But fortunately for our knowledge of his reign, we possess a monument, which, though giving little information of an historical nature, is of the greatest value for the light it throws upon the Semitic character of the population and the economical conditions which prevailed in Northern Babylonia at the time it was drawn up. This monument is the famous Obelisk of Manishtusu, which was discovered by M. de Morgan at Susa, during his first season's work on that site in the winter of 1897-8. On the obelisk is engraved a text in some sixty-nine columns, written in Semitic Babylonian, and recording the purchase by Manishtusu of large tracts of cultivated land situated in the neighbourhood of Kish and of three other cities in Northern Babylonia. Each of the four sides of the stone is devoted to a separate area or tract of land, near one of the four great cities. Thus the first side records the purchase of certain land made up of three estates and known as the Field of Baz, which lay near the city of Dur-Sin; the second side records the purchase of the Field of Baraz-sirim, near the city of Kish, Manishtusu's capital; the third side, like the first, deals with three estates, and these together were known as the Meadow (or, strictly, the Marsh) of Ninkharsag, near the city of Marad; while the fourth side is concerned with the purchase of the Field of Shad-Bitkim and Zimanak, near a city the name of which may be provisionally rendered as Shid-tab. The great length of the inscription is due to the fact that, in addition to giving details with regard to the size, value, and position of each estate, the text enumerates by name the various proprietors from whom the land was purchased, the former overseers or managers who were dispossessed, and the new overseers who were installed in their place. The names of the latter are repeated on all four sides of the obelisk before the purchase-formula.


We may note the fact that Manishtusu did not confiscate the land, but acquired it legally by purchase, as though he were merely a private citizen or large land-owner. The exact area of each estate was first accurately ascertained by measurement, and its value was then reckoned in grain and afterwards in silver, one bur of land being regarded as worth sixty gur of grain, or one mana of silver. An additional sum, consisting of one-tenth or three-twentieths of the purchase-price, was also paid to the owners of each estate, who received besides from the king presents of animals, garments, vessels, etc., which varied in value according to the recipient's rank or his former share in the property. Not only are the owners' names and parentage duly recorded on the stone, but also those of certain associates who had an interest in the land; most of these appear to have been relatives of the owners, who had contributed capital for the cultivation or improvement of the estates. Their names were doubtless included in order to prevent any subsequent claim being raised by them against the king. The same reason appears to have dictated the enumeration by name of the former managers or overseers of each estate, who by its purchase were deprived of their occupation. The cultivation of the large tracts of land, which passed into the king's possession, had given employment to no less than fifteen hundred and sixty-four labourers, who had been in the charge of eighty-seven overseers. It is worthy of note that Manishtusu undertook to find fresh occupation and means of support for both these classes in other places, which were probably situated at no great distance from their homes.

The reason for this extensive purchase of landed property by Manishtusu may possibly have been given at the beginning of the text inscribed upon the obelisk, but unfortunately very little of the first column of the inscription has been preserved. The main body of the text affords little material on which to base a conjecture. One point, however, may be regarded as certain: the reason for the purchase appears to have had some close connection with the forty-nine new managers and overseers, to whom Manishtusu entrusted the administration of his newly acquired property. The mere fact that their names and descriptions should have been repeated on each side of the obelisk is probably significant. Moreover, they are all described in the text as citizens of Akkad, and the prominence given to them in each section suggests that the king purchased the land with the express object of handing it over to their charge. It may also be noted that Manishtusu removed, not only the former managers, but also every labourer who had been employed on the estates, so that we may assume that the new managers brought their own labourers with them, who would continue the cultivation of the land under their direction. If the king's object in purchasing the land had been merely to make a profitable investment, he would not have removed the former labourers, for whose maintenance he undertook to provide elsewhere. Manishtusu's action can only be explained on the supposition that he was anxious to acquire land on which he might settle the men from Akkad and their adherents. The purchase appears therefore to have been dictated by the necessity of removing certain citizens from Akkad to other sites in Northern Babylonia. We do not know the cause which gave rise to this transference of population, but we shall presently see that, in view of the high social standing of several of the immigrants, Manishtusu's action may perhaps be connected with certain traditions concerning this period which were current in later times.

At the head of the inhabitants from Akkad, to whom the king handed over his new estates, stands Aliakhu, his nephew, and among them we also find sons and dependants of the rulers of important cities, who appear to haye acknowledged the suzerainty of Kish. Thus two of the men are described as from the household of Kur-shesh, patesi of Umma; another was Ibalum, the son of Ilsu-rabi, patesi of Basime; and a third was Urukagina, son of Engilsa, patesi of Lagash. The reference to the last of these four personages has been employed in an attempt to fix the period of Manishtusu's reign. On the discovery of the obelisk Pere Scheil proposed that we should identify Urukagina, the son of Engilsa, with the king of Lagash of that name, suggesting that he occupied the position assigned him in the text during his father's lifetime and before he himself succeeded to the throne. At this time it was still the fashion to set Urukagina at the head of the patesis of Tello, and to regard him as the oldest of all the rulers of that city whose names had yet been recovered. Now, on the obelisk mention is also made of a certain "Mesalim, the son of the king", i.e. a son of Manishtusu. Support for the proposed identification was therefore found in the further suggestion that Mesalim, the son of Manishtusu, was no other than Mesilim, the early king of Kish, who was the contemporary of Lugal-shag-engur of Lagash, and, in his character of suzerain, had interposed in the territorial dispute between that city and Umma. According to this view, Lagash, under Engilsa and Urukagina, owed allegiance to Kish during the reign of Manishtusu, a state of things which continued into the reign of Mesilim, who, on this theory, was Manishtusu's son and successor.

But the recognition of Urukagina's true place in the line of the rulers of Lagash has rendered the theory untenable; and the suggested identification of Mesalim, the son of Manishtusu, with Mesilim, the early king of Kish, so far from giving support to the other proposal, is quite incompatible with it. In fact, both the proposed identifications cannot be right, and it remains to be seen whether either of them can be accepted. Of the two, the proposal to identify Mesalim with Lugal-shag-engur's contemporary may be dismissed at once, since both the internal and the external evidence furnished by the obelisk are against assigning Manishtusu's reign to so early a period. Although these objections do not apply so strongly to the other proposal, its acceptance is negatived on other grounds. From Urukagina's own inscriptions we have seen reason to believe that he did not obtain the throne by right of succession, but by force; he never refers to his own father, and the antagonism to the patesiate, which characterizes his texts, suggests that his reign marks a complete break in the succession. We may therefore conclude that Urukagina of the obelisk is a different personage to Urukagina, the king, and the former's father, Engilsa, would in that case have ruled as a patesi of Lagash at a period subsequent to the sack of that city by Lugal-zaggisi.

We are therefore reduced to more general considerations in attempting to fix the date of Manishtusu. That his reign is to be assigned to about the same period as that of Urumush there can be little doubt, for, in contrast to those of the earlier kings of Kish, the inscriptions of both are written in Semitic Babylonian, and the forms of the characters they employ are very similar. Evidence has already been cited which proves that Urumush was anterior to Shar-Gani-sharri and Naram-Sin. In Manishtusu, therefore, we have another Semitic king under whom the city of Kish enjoyed the hegemony in Babylonia, which afterwards passed to Akkad. That the kingdom of Kish, under these two rulers, was not separated by a long interval from the empire of Akkad would seem to follow from the references to the latter city on Manishtusu's obelisk. We have already noted that the forty-nine overseers, who were entrusted with the administration of the lands purchased by the king, are described in the text as citizens of Akkad, and that among their number are members of powerful ruling families from other cities of Babylonia. It would thus appear that Akkad was already of sufficient importance to attract princes from such distant cities as Umma and Lagash. This fact, indeed, has been employed as an argument in favour of the view that Manishtusu and Urumush must have ruled after, and not before, Shar-Gani-sharri and Naram-sin,under whom Akkad was made the capital of the whole country. Although this inference does not necessarily follow, and, in point of fact, is contradicted by the evidence already cited with regard to Urumush, it is clear that, even in the time of Manishtusu, the city of Akkad enjoyed a position of considerable importance; and it is improbable that any long period elapsed before it replaced Kish as the capital.

The extent of Manishtusu's authority within the limits of Babylonia is indicated by the reference to Southern Babylonian cities in his obelisk-inscription; for, since the patesis of Lagash and Umma sent their relatives or dependants to Manishtusu's court, it may be inferred that his dominions included at least a portion of Sumer as well as Akkad. Like Urumush, he also appears to have undertaken military expeditions, by means of which he added to the territory under his control. In the British Museum are fragments of two monoliths, engraved with duplicate inscriptions, which record his defeat of a confederation of thirty-two kings "on this side (?) of the sea", and the capture of the cities over which they ruled. It is difficult to determine with certainty the region in which these cities lay, but, since "the sea" is mentioned without any qualifying phrase, we may probably take it as referring to the Persian Gulf. In that case the text may have recorded the subjugation of the southern portion of Sumer, or perhaps the conquest of cities within the Elamite border. Though Manishtusu's name does not occur in the few lines of the main inscription preserved upon the fragments, there is no doubt that the text is his, for upon one of them is engraved a dedication in rather larger characters, stating that the stele of which it formed a part was dedicated to Shamash by Manishtusu, King of Kish. Since both the fragments were found at Abu Habba, we may conclude that the stelae were set up in the great temple at Sippar, and were dedicated by Manishtusu to the Sun-god in commemoration of his victory.

Alabaster statue of Manishtusu, King of Kish, dedicated by a high officia to the god Naruti. Found at Susa

Other monuments of Manishtusu's reign that have come down to us consist of a number of figures and statues of the king which have been discovered at Susa during the French excavations on that site. There is no doubt that the majority of these were carried to Susa as spoil of war, and were not set up in that city by Manishtusu himself, for they bear Anzanite inscriptions to that effect. Thus one statue is stated to have been brought from Akkad to Susa by Shutruk-nakhkhunte, and another by the same king from "Ishnunuk," incidentally proving that the state of Ashnunnak, which lay to the east of the Tigris, formed part of Manishtusu's dominions. But a more recently discovered statue of the king bears no later Anzanite record, and is inscribed with its original dedication. to the god Naruti by a high official in Manishtusu's service. It is a remarkable monument, for while the figure itself is of alabaster, the eyes are formed of white limestone let into sockets and held in place by bitumen; the black pupils are now wanting. Though the staring effect of the inlaid eyes is scarcely pleasing, the statue is undoubtedly the most interesting example of early Semitic sculpture in the round that has yet been recovered. Both in this statue and in the more famous obelisk, Pere Scheil would see evidence of Manishtusu's permanent subjugation of Elam, in support of his view that Elam and Babylonia practically formed a single country at this early period. But the text inscribed upon the obelisk, as we have already seen, is of a purely local interest, and no object would have been gained by storing such a record at Susa, even on the hypothesis that Manishtusu had transferred his capital thither. It is safer therefore to draw no historical conclusions from the provenance of the statue and the obelisk, but to class them with the other statues which we know to have been carried off as spoil to Elam at a later period. There is evidence that Manishtusu, like Urumush, carried on a successful war with Elam, but it is probable that the successes of both kings were of the nature of victorious raids and were followed up by no permanent occupation of the country. The early existence of Semitic influence in Elam is amply attested by the employment of the Semitic Babylonian language for their own inscriptions by native Elamite rulers such as Basha-Shushinak. But it does not necessarily follow that the inscriptions of native kings of Babylonia, which have been found at Susa, were deposited there by these kings themselves during a period of Semitic rule in Elam. In fact, it was probably not until the period of the Dynasty of Ur that Elam was held for any length of time as a subject state by kings of either Sumer or Akkad.

Until recently Manishtusu and Urumush were the only kings of Kish of this period whose names had been recovered. But a find has been made at Susa, which, while furnishing the name of another king of Kish, raises important questions with regard to the connection between the empires of Kish and Akkad. In the present chapter we have been dealing with a period of transition in the history of the lands of Sumer and Akkad. The fall of Lagash had been followed by a confederation of Sumerian cities with Erech as its capital, and the conquests of Lugal-zaggisi had sufficed to preserve for a time the integrity of the southern kingdom he had founded. But events were already taking place which were to result in the definite transference of power from Sumer to the north. The votive inscriptions from Nippur have thrown some light upon the struggles by which the Semitic immigrants into Northern Babylonia sought to extend their influence southward. The subsequent increase in the power of Kish was not followed by any fresh access of Sumerian power, but directly paved the way for the Semitic empire founded by Shar-Kalli-sharri with the city of Akkad as his capital. The evidence of the close connection between the rise of Kish and Akkad suggests that both cities were borne up upon the same wave of Semitic domination, which by this time had succeeded in imposing itself on Babylonia from the north. In the following chapter we shall see that Shar-Gani-sharri was not the leader of this racial movement, and that his empire rested upon foundations which other rulers had laid.



(2334-2279 BC)