Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar in Diyala Province, Iraq) was an ancient Sumerian (and later Akkadian) city and city-state in central Mesopotamia. Although situated in the Diyala Valley north-east of Sumer proper, the city nonetheless belonged securely within the Sumerian cultural milieu.
The tutelary deity of the city was Tishpak (Tišpak).
|c. 3000 BC–c. 1700 BC|
The extent of Eshnunna's influence c. 1764 BC
• c. 2000 BC
• c. 1700 BC
|Historical era||Bronze Age|
|c. 3000 BC|
|c. 1700 BC|
|Today part of||Iraq|
Occupied from the Jemdet Nasr period, about 3000 BC, Eshnunna was a major city during the Early Dynastic period of Mesopotamia. Beginning with the rise of the Akkadian Empire, Eshnunna oscillated between periods of independence and domination by empires such as the Third Dynasty of Ur and Isin. Because of its promise of control over lucrative trade routes, Eshnunna could function somewhat as a gateway between Mesopotamian and Elamite culture. The trade routes gave it access to many exotic, sought-after goods such as horses from the north, copper, tin, and other metals and precious stones. In a grave in Eshnunna, a pendant made of copal from Zanzibar was found. A small number of seals and beads from the Indus Valley Civilization were also found. 
After rising to prominence as an independent state in the early second millennium, during the time of Shamshi-Adad, Eshnunna was then occupied by Elam, after which it was conquered by Hammurabi of Babylon in the 38th year of his reign, and thus absorbed within the Old Babylonian Empire (sometimes called the First Babylonian Dynasty). Thereafter, the city appears but rarely in cuneiform textual sources, reflecting its probable decline and eventual disappearance.
The remains of the ancient city are now preserved in the tell, or archaeological settlement mound, of Tell Asmar, some 38 km in a straight line northeast of Baghdad and 30 km in a straight line southeast of Baqubah. It was first located by Henri Pognon in 1892 but he neglected to report the location before he died in 1921. It was refound and excavated in six seasons between 1930 and 1936 by an Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago team led by Henri Frankfort with Thorkild Jacobsen and Seton Lloyd. The expedition's field secretary was Mary Chubb.
Despite the length of time since the excavations at Tell Asmar, the work of examining and publishing the remaining finds from that dig continues to this day. These finds include roughly 1,500 cuneiform tablets.
In the late 1990s, Iraqi archaeologists worked at Tell Asmar. The results from that excavation have not yet been published.
The Laws of Eshnunna consist of two tablets, found at Shaduppum (Tell Harmal) and a fragment found at Tell Haddad, the ancient Mê-Turan. They were written sometime around the reign of king Dadusha of Eshnunna and appear to not be official copies. When the actual laws were composed is unknown. They are similar to the Code of Hammurabi.
During the Early Dynastic period, the Abu Temple at Tell Asmar (Eshnunna) went through a number of phases. This included the Early Dynastic Archaic Shrine, Square Temple, and Single-Shrine phases of construction. They, along with sculpture found there, helped form the basis for the three part archaeological separation of the Early Dynastic period into ED I, ED II, and ED III for the ancient Near East. A cache of 12 gypsum temple sculptures, in a geometric style, were found in the Square Temple; these are known as the Tell Asmar Hoard. They are some of the best known examples of ancient Near East sculpture. The group, now split up, show gods, priests and donor worshippers at different sizes, but all in the same highly simplified style. All have greatly enlarged inlaid eyes, but the tallest figure, the main cult image depicting the local god, has enormous eyes that give it a "fierce power". 
|Urguedinna||~2000 BC||Governor under Shulgi of the Ur III|
|Kallamu||Governor under Shulgi of the Ur III|
|Ituria||Governor under Shu-Sin of the Ur III|
|Ilushuilia||Governor under Ibbi-Sin of the Ur III|
|Nurakhum||Governor under Ibbi-Sin of the Ur III, Contemporary of Ishbi-Erra of Isin|
|Bilalama||Contemporary of Tan-Ruhuratir of Elam|
|Ipiq-Adad I||Contemporary of Abdi-Erah of Tutub and Sumu-abum of Babylon|
|Ipiq-Adad II||~1700 BC||Reigned at least 36 years|
|Naram-Sin||Son of Ipiq-Adad II, Contemporary of Shamshi-Adad|
|Dadusha||Son of Ipiq-Adad II, Contemporary of Shamshi-Adad of Assyria|
|Ibal-pi-El II||Contemporary of Zimri-Lim of Mari, Killed by Siwe-palar-huppak of Elam who captured Eshnunna|
Dadusha (reigned c. 1800–1779 BC) was one of the kings of the central Mesopotamian city Eshnunna, located in the Diyala Valley. He was the son of the Eshnunna king Ipiq-Adad II (reigned c. 1862–1818 BC). Although previously kings of Eshnunna had referred to themselves as ensi (governor) of the city god Tishpak, in the early 19th century rulers of Eshnunna began referring to themselves as King (Sumerian lugal). Dadusha’s father Ipiq-Adad II and his brother Naram-Suen (reigned c. 1818–? BC), who ruled Eshnunna before him, both used the title king and Dadusha followed suit.Ipiq-Adad II extended the control of Eshnunna to incorporate other cities in the Diyala Valley, including Nerebtum, Shaduppum, and Dur-Rimush. Dadusha followed the expansionist policies of his father and his brother Naram-Suen, mixing war and diplomacy to increase his control over areas. His continued expansionism caused Eshnunna to become one of the most powerful states in the Mesopotamian region in the early 18th century.Dadusha was succeeded by his son Ibal pi’el II (reigned c. 1779–65 BC).Erishum II
ErishumI or Erišum II, the son and successor of Naram-Sin, was the king of the city-state Assur, listed in the Assyrian King List as the 38th king of Assyria from 1815 BC to 1809 BC. Shalim-ahum (the 31st king of Assyria c. 1900 BC as listed in the Assyrian King List.) and his successors bore the titles “Išši’ak Aššur” (Steward of Assur) and “ensí”. The length of Naram-Sin's reign is uncertain, however; based on various excavated "limmu" (eponym) lists, Naram-Sin's and Erishum II's reigns had a combined length of 64 years.The Amorites had overrun the kingdoms of Lower Mesopotamia and the Levant between c. 2100 BC and c. 1809 BC, but had hitherto been repelled by the Assyrian kings. However, after having reigned for only six years, Erishum II was to be the last king of the dynasty of Puzur-Ashur I (founded c. 2025 BC) as he was deposed and the throne of Assyria was usurped by Shamshi-Adad I during the expansion of the Amorite tribes from the Khabur River delta in the north-eastern Levant. Although regarded as an Amorite by later Assyrian tradition, Shamshi-Adad I's descent is suggested to be from the same line as the native Assyrian ruler Ushpia within the Assyrian King List. Shamshi-Adad I had inherited the throne in Terqa from his father Ila-kabkabu. The Assyrian King List records that Shamshi-Adad I, “went away to Babylonia in the time of Naram-Sin” while Naram-Sin of Eshnunna had been attacking Ekallatum. Shamshi-Adad I had not returned until he had taken Ekallatum, after which he had paused for three years and then had overthrown Erishum II. The Mari Eponym Chronicle, which resumes the listing until the seizure of Ekallatum by Shamshi-Adad I, provides no clue as to when the succession of Erishum II had taken place. As the reign of Erishum II was prematurely ended by the conquests of Shamshi-Adad I, it is likely that Naram-Sin's reign was the greater part of the period, additionally; the broken figure on the Nassouhi King List ends on four, so perhaps Naram-Sin reigned 44 or 54 years (c. 1872 BC onward, middle chronology.)Hammurabi
Hammurabi (c. 1810 BC – c. 1750 BC) was the sixth king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, reigning from 1792 BC to 1750 BC (according to the Middle Chronology). He was preceded by his father, Sin-Muballit, who abdicated due to failing health. During his reign, he conquered Elam and the city-states of Larsa, Eshnunna, and Mari. He ousted Ishme-Dagan I, the king of Assyria, and forced his son Mut-Ashkur to pay tribute, bringing almost all of Mesopotamia under Babylonian rule.Hammurabi is best known for having issued the Code of Hammurabi, which he claimed to have received from Shamash, the Babylonian god of justice. Unlike earlier Sumerian law codes, such as the Code of Ur-Nammu, which had focused on compensating the victim of the crime, the Law of Hammurabi was one of the first law codes to place greater emphasis on the physical punishment of the perpetrator. It prescribed specific penalties for each crime and is among the first codes to establish the presumption of innocence. Although its penalties are extremely harsh by modern standards, they were intended to limit what a wronged person was permitted to do in retribution. The Code of Hammurabi and the Law of Moses in the Torah contain numerous similarities, but these are probably due to shared background and oral tradition, and it is unlikely that Hammurabi's laws exerted any direct impact on the later Mosaic ones.
Hammurabi was seen by many as a god within his own lifetime. After his death, Hammurabi was revered as a great conqueror who spread civilization and forced all peoples to pay obeisance to Marduk, the national god of the Babylonians. Later, his military accomplishments became de-emphasized and his role as the ideal lawgiver became the primary aspect of his legacy. For later Mesopotamians, Hammurabi's reign became the frame of reference for all events occurring in the distant past. Even after the empire he built collapsed, he was still revered as a model ruler, and many kings across the Near East claimed him as an ancestor. Hammurabi was rediscovered by archaeologists in the late nineteenth century and has since become seen as an important figure in the history of law.Ibal-pi-el II
Ibal pi’el II was a king of the city kingdom of Eshnunna in ancient Sumer. He reigned c. 1779–1765 BC).He was the son of Dadusha and nephew of Naram-Suen of Eshnunna.
He conquered the cities of Diniktum and Rapiqum. With Ḫammu-rāpi of Babylon, and the Amorite king Shamshi-Adad I he besieged the kingdom of Malgium until its ruler bought them off with 15 talents of silver.
He was a contemporary of Zimri-Lim of Mari, and formed powerful alliances with Yarim-Lim I Amud-pi-el of Qatanum, Rim-Sin I of Larsa and most importantly Hammurabi of Babylon, to appose the rise of Shamshi-Adad I in Assyria (on his northern border) who himself had alliances with Charchemish, Hassum and Urshu and Qatna.
Some scholars have suggested the biblical king Amraphel may have been Ibal Pi-El II of Esnunna. While others consider Ameraphel to be Hammurabi.
He was killed by Siwe-palar-huppak of Elam, who captured Eshnunna, and he was succeeded by Silli-Sin.Ishme-Dagan I
Ishme-Dagan I (Akkadian: Išme-Dagān I; fl. c. 1776 BCE — c. 1736 BCE) was a monarch of the Old Assyrian Empire. The much later Assyrian King List (AKL) credits Ishme-Dagan I with a reign of forty years, however; it is now known from a limmu-list of eponyms unearthed at Kanesh in 2003 that his reign in Assur lasted eleven years. According to the AKL, Ishme-Dagan I was the son and successor of Shamshi-Adad I. Also according to the AKL, Ishme-Dagan I was succeeded by his son Mut-Ashkur.Khafajah
Khafajah or Khafaje (ancient Tutub) is an archaeological site in Diyala Province (Iraq). It was part of the city-state of Eshnunna. The site lies 7 miles (11 km) east of Baghdad and 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Eshnunna.Laws of Eshnunna
The Laws of Eshnunna (abrv. LE) are inscribed on two cuneiform tablets discovered in Tell Abū Harmal, Baghdad, Iraq. The Iraqi Directorate of Antiquities headed by Taha Baqir unearthed two parallel sets of tablets in 1945 and 1947. The two tablets are separate copies of an older source and date back to ca. 1930 BC. The differences between the Code of Hammurabi and the Laws of Eshnunna significantly contributed to illuminating the development of ancient and cuneiform law. Eshnunna was north of Ur on the Tigris River and became politically important after the fall of the third dynasty of Ur, founded by Ur-Nammu.
In distinction from the other Mesopotamian collections of law, this one got its name after the city where it had originated – Eshnunna, located on the bank of the Diyala River, tributary to the Tigris. This collection of laws is not a real systemized codex; nearly sixty of its sections are preserved. The Laws are written in Akkadian and consist of two tablets which are marked with A and B. In 1948, Albrecht Goetze of the Yale University had translated and published them. In some sources the Laws of Eshnunna are mentioned as the Laws of Bilalama due to the belief that the Eshnunnian ruler probably was their originator, but Goetze maintained that tablet B was originated under the reign of Dadusha. The text of the prologue is broken at the point where the ruler who promulgated the laws was specified.
Albrecht Goetze has noticed the specific style of expression. The laws were composed in a mode that facilitated memorizing. A distinguished Israeli scientist and one of the foremost experts on this collection of laws, Reuven Yaron of the University of Jerusalem concerning this matter stated: “What matters to me – and might have mattered to those who fashioned them almost 4000 years ago – is the ease of remembering the text.”
The conditional sentence (“If A then B” – as it also is the case with the other Mesopotamian laws) is an attribute of this codification. In 23 paragraphs, it appears in the form šumma awilum – “If a man…” After the disposition, a precise sanction follows, e.g. LU42(A): “If a man bit and severed the nose of a man, one mina silver he shall weigh out.”
The Laws clearly show signs of social stratification, mainly focussing on two different classes: the muškenum and awilum. The audience of the Laws of Eshnunna is more extensive than in the case of the earlier cuneiform codifications: awilum – free men and women (mar awilim and marat awilim), muškenum, wife (aššatum), son (maru), slaves of both sexes – male (wardum) and female (amtum) – which are not only objects of law as in classical slavery, and delicts where the victims were slaves have been sanctioned, and other class designations as ubarum, apþarum, mudum that are not ascertained.
Reuven Yaron has divided the offences of the Laws of Eshnunna into five groups. The articles of the first group had to be collected from all over the Laws and the articles of the other four were roughly ordered one after the other:
1. Theft and related offences,
2. False distraint,
3. Sexual offences,
4. Bodily injuries,
5. Damages caused by a goring ox and comparable cases.
The majority of these offences were penalized with pecuniary fines (an amount of silver), but some serious offences such as burglary, murder, and sexual offences were penalized with death. It seems that the capital punishment was avoidable (in contrast to the Code of Hammurabi), because of the standard formulation: “It is a case of life … he shall die”.List of ancient legal codes
The legal code was a common feature of the legal systems of the ancient Middle East. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100-2050 BC), then the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC), are amongst the earliest originating in the Fertile Crescent. In the Roman empire, a number of codifications were developed, such as the Twelve Tables of Roman law (first compiled in 450 BC) and the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian, also known as the Justinian Code (429 - 534 CE). In ancient China, the first comprehensive criminal code was the Tang Code, created in 624 CE in the Tang Dynasty.
The following is a list of ancient legal codes in chronological order:
Code of Urukagina (2,380-2,360 BC)
Cuneiform law (2,350-1,400 BC)
Code of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (c. 2050 BC)
Laws of Eshnunna (c. 1930 BC)
Codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (c. 1870 BC)
Babylonian laws / Code of Hammurabi (c. 1790 BC)
Hittite laws (c. 1650–1100 BC)
Code of the Nesilim (c. 1650-1500 BC)
Law of Moses / Torah (10th-6th century BC)
Assyrian laws / Code of the Assura (c. 1075 BC)
Draconian constitution (7th century BC)
Gortyn code (5th century BC)
Twelve Tables of Roman Law (451 BC)
Edicts of Ashoka of Buddhist Law (269-236 BC)
Law of Manu (c. 200 BC)
Corpus Juris Civilis (Justinian code) (529 to 534 AD)
Sharia or Islamic Law (c. 570)
Tang Code (624 to 637)
Halakha (Jewish religious law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions)
Traditional Chinese law
Naram-Suen (Naram-Sin) may refer to any of four kings in the history of Mesopotamia:
Naram-Sin of Akkad (c. 2190–2154 BC), an Akkadian king, the most famous of the four
Naram-Sin of Assyria (c. 1872–1845 BC), an Assyrian king
Naram-Sin of Uruk (c. 19th century BC), a king of Uruk
Naram-Suen of Eshnunna (c. 19th century BC), a king of EshnunnaNaram-Suen of Eshnunna
Not to be confused with other ancient Mesopotamian kings with the same name Naram-SuenNaram-Suen (also transcribed Narām-Sîn, Naram-Sin) was a king who ruled over Eshnunna during the later 19th century BCE, during its brief time of political power. He may or may not be the same person as a contemporaneous King of Assyria named Naram-Suen.Ninazu
Ninazu in Sumerian mythology was a god of the underworld, and of healing. He was the son of Enlil and Ninlil or, in alternative traditions, of Ereshkigal and Gugalana, and was the father of Ningiszida. In the text Enki and Ninhursag he was described as the consort of Ninsutu, one of the deities born to relieve the illness of Enki.
Ninazu was the patron deity of the city of Eshnunna until he was superseded by Tispak. His sanctuaries were the E-sikul and E-kurma. Unlike his close relative Nergal, he was generally benevolent.Samsu-iluna
Samsu-iluna (Amorite: Shamshu; c. 1750–1712 BC) was the seventh king of the founding Amorite dynasty of Babylon, ruling from 1750 BC to 1712 BC (middle chronology), or from 1686 to 1648 BC (short chronology). He was the son and successor of Hammurabi by an unknown mother. His reign was marked by the violent uprisings of areas conquered by his father and the abandonment of several important cities (primarily in Sumer).Shamshi-Adad I
Shamshi-Adad I (Akkadian: Šamši-Adad I; Amorite: Shamshi-Addu I; fl. c. 1809 BC – c. 1776 BC by the middle chronology) was an Amorite who had conquered lands across much of Syria, Anatolia, and Upper Mesopotamia for the Old Assyrian Empire.Shu-turul
Shu-turul (Shu-durul) was the last king of Akkad, ruling for 15 years according to the Sumerian king list. It indicates that he succeeded his father Dudu. A few artifacts, seal impressions etc. attest that he held sway over a greatly reduced Akkadian territory that included Kish, Tutub, and Eshnunna. The Diyala river also bore the name "Shu-durul" at the time.The king list asserts that Akkad was then conquered, and the hegemony returned to Uruk following his reign. It further lists six names of an Uruk dynasty; however none of these six rulers has been confirmed through archaeology. The actual situation of Akkad's collapse, from all evidence outside the king list, is that it was brought about directly by the Gutians, Zagros tribesmen who established their own rule, though several of the southern city-states such as Uruk, Ur and Lagash also declared independence around this time.Sin-Iddinam
Sin-Iddinam ruled the ancient Near East city-state
of Larsa from 1785 BC to 1778 BC. He was the son of Nur-Adad, with
whom there may have been a short co-regency overlap.
The annals for his 7-year reign record that he campaigned against Babylon in year 4, Ibrat and Malgium in year 5, and Eshnunna in year 6.Tell Agrab
Tell Agrab (or Aqrab) is a tell or settlement mound 12.6 miles (20.3 km) southeast of Eshnunna in the Diyala region.Tell Ishchali
Tell Ishchali is an archaeological site in Diyala Province (Iraq). It is thought to be ancient Nerebtum or Kiti and was part of the city-state of Eshnunna. It was occupied during the Old Babylonian period.Third Dynasty of Ur
The terms "Third Dynasty of Ur" and "Neo-Sumerian Empire" refer to both a 22nd to 21st century BC (middle chronology) Sumerian ruling dynasty based in the city of Ur and a short-lived territorial-political state which some historians consider to have been a nascent empire. The Third Dynasty of Ur is commonly abbreviated as Ur III by historians studying the period.
The Third Dynasty of Ur was the last Sumerian dynasty which came to preeminent power in Mesopotamia. It began after several centuries of control by Akkadian and Gutian kings. It controlled the cities of Isin, Larsa and Eshnunna and extended as far north as the Jazira.Tishpak
Tishpak (Tispak) is an Akkadian god, who replaced
Ninazu as the tutelary deity of the city of Eshnunna. He was a warrior god possibly identical with the Hurrian god “Teshup”.