The chronology of the first dynasty of Babylonia (also First Babylonian Empire) is debated as there is a Babylonian King List A and a Babylonian King List B. In this chronology, the regnal years of List A are used due to their wide usage. The reigns in List B are longer, in general.
First Babylonian Empire
|c. 1830 BC – c. 1531 BC|
|Common languages||Babylonian language|
• c. 1830–1817 BC
• c. 1562–1531 BC
|Historical era||Bronze Age|
|c. 1830 BC|
|c. 1531 BC|
|c. 1531 BC|
|Today part of||Iraq|
The short chronology is:
|Sumu-abum or Su-abu||c. 1830–1817 BC||Contemporary of Ilushuma of Assyria|
|Sumu-la-El||c. 1817–1781 BC||Contemporary of Erishum I of Assyria|
|Sabium or Sabum||c. 1781–1767 BC||Son of Sumu-la-El|
|Apil-Sin||c. 1767–1749 BC||Son of Sabium|
|Sin-muballit||c. 1748–1729 BC||Son of Apil-Sin|
|Hammurabi||c. 1728–1686 BC||Contemporary of Zimri-Lim of Mari, Siwe-palar-huppak of Elam and Shamshi-Adad I|
|Samsu-iluna||c. 1686–1648 BC||Son of Hammurabi|
|Abi-eshuh or Abieshu||c. 1648–1620 BC||Son of Samsu-iluna|
|Ammi-ditana||c. 1620–1583 BC||Son of Abi-eshuh|
|Ammi-saduqa or Ammisaduqa||c. 1582–1562 BC||Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa|
|Samsu-Ditana||c. 1562–1531 BC||Sack of Babylon|
The actual origins of the First Babylonian dynasty are rather hard to pinpoint with great certainty simply because Babylon itself, due to a high water table, yields very few archaeological materials intact. Thus, the evidence that survived throughout the years includes written records such as royal and votive inscriptions, literary texts, and lists of year-names. Considering, the minimal amount of evidence in economic and legal documents it makes it difficult to illustrate the economic and social history of The First Babylonian Dynasty but with historical events portrayed in literature and the existence of year-name lists it is possible to illustrate chronology.
With little evidence there is not much known about the reigns of the kings from Sumuabum through Sin-muballit other than the fact they were Amorites rather than indigenous Akkadians. What is known, however, is that they accumulated little land. When the Amorite king, Hammurabi came into power his military victories were successful in gaining land for the Empire. However, Babylon was just one of the several important powers among Assyria ruled by Shamshi-Adad I and Larsa ruled by Rim-Sin I.
The accomplishments of the first known king of the Dynasty, Sumuabum, include his efforts in expanding the Babylonian territory when conquering Dilbat and Kish. His successor, Simualailum, was able to complete the wall around Babylon that Sumuabum had begun constructing. Sumualialum was also able to defeat rebellions in Kish and became successful in the destruction of Kazallu while possessing brief control over Nippur (though it did not last). There is little to know about the reigns of Sabium, Apil-Sin and Sinmuballit other than that they continued ruling the conquered territory as well as strengthened the walls and began building canals. However, Sinmuballit is known for his successful defeats over Rim-Sim which protected Babylon from further invasion. Sinmuballit would then pass on his role as king to his son, Hammurabi.
Hammurabi is also at times referred to as "Hammurapi" in ancient texts, including multiple primary source Babylonian letters. This is mainly due to the common variants of an Amorite name, just as "Dipilirabi" is also known as "Dipilirapi".
One of the most famous ancient near eastern texts, let alone artifactual text from The First Babylonian Dynasty is the “Code of Hammurapi”. The code is written in cuneiform on a 7 foot tall diorite stele that portrays the Babylonian King receiving his kingship from the Sun God, Shamash, on the top of the stele with a collection of written laws at the bottom. The text itself explains how Hammurabi came into power and created a set of laws to ensure justice throughout his territory, the divine role that was given to him. Before presenting the laws written in the Code, Hammurabi states "When the god Marduk commanded me to provide just ways for the people of the land (in order to attain) appropriate behavior, I established truth and justice as the declaration of the land, I enhanced the well-being of the people" and goes on to display the laws of just punishment for crimes and provides rules for his people to abide by. King Hammurabi ruled Babylon from 1792 to 1750 BCE and his code will be noted as one of the oldest living written laws in history.
When Hammurabi first came into power the empire only consisted of a few towns in the surrounding area: Dilbat, Sippar, Kish, and Borsippa. By 1761, Hammurabi managed to succeed in capturing the formidable power of Eshnunna, inheriting its well-established commercial trade routes and the economic stability that came along with it. It was not long before Hammurabi's army took Assyria and parts of the Zagros Mountains. Eventually in 1760, Babylon gained control over Mari, making up virtually all the territory of Mesopotamia under the Third Dynasty of Ur. During Hammurabi's thirtieth year as king, he conquered Larsa from Rim-Sin I, thus, gaining control over the lucrative urban centers of Nippur, Ur, Uruk, and Isin. Hammurabi was one of the most notable Kings during the First Babylonian Dynasty because of his success in gaining control over Southern Mesopotamia and establishing Babylon as the center of his Empire. Babylon would then come to dominate Mesopotamia for over a thousand years.
Zimri-lim plays a significant role for the historians of today by which this figure contributed immense amounts of historical documents that help to understand the history of Hammurabi and the diplomacy of The First Babylonian Dynasty during his reign. The archives of Hammurabi at the site of Babylon cannot be recovered due to its remains lying under a water table, practically resulting to mud. Zimri-Lim's palace in Mari held an archive, known as Ebla, which included letters and other texts that provide insight into the alliance between the king and Hammurabi, as well as other leaders in the Syrian and Mesopotamian region. These documents survived because of Hammurabi who had burned the palace down thus burying the material and preserving it. War was a common aspect for the Kingdoms of Syria and Mesopotamia so inevitably majority of the documents were in regard to military affairs. The documents included letters written by the messengers of the kings, they would discuss conflicts, divine oaths, agreements and treaties between the powers.
There is also little information to know about the kings who succeeded Hammurabi. The reigns of kings from Samsuiluna to Samsuditana have very few records to note the history of what went on during their time as rulers. However, we do know that Samsuiluna was successful in beating Rim-Sim II but lost major parts of conquered land, only really ruling the main territory that remained after Hammurabi's reign. The kings who succeeded him would face similar turmoil. The first Babylonian Dynasty eventually came to an end as the Empire lost territory, money and faced great degradation. The attacks from Hittites who were trying to expand outside of Anatolia eventually came to the destruction of Babylon. The Kassite Period then followed the First Babylonian Dynasty ruling from 1570-1154 BCE.
The more eminent time period preceding Hammurabi but taking place after the reign of Sargon the Great is referred to as the Ur III period. This time period took place during the end of the third millennium BCE and early Second millennium BCE. Common behaviors of the Kings during this time period especially Ur-Namma and Shulgi included reunifying Mesopotamia and developing rules for the Kingdom to abide by. Most notably these Ur rulers contributed to the development of Ziggurats which were religious monumental stepped towers that would in turn bring religious peoples together. In order to gain and retain power it was not unfamiliar for Ur princesses to marry the Kings of Elam, Elaminites were a commonly known enemy of Mesopotamians. Ur rulers would also, along with arranged marriage, send gifts and letters to rulers as a peace offering. This information is known because of the hefty amount of administrative records the people during the Ur III period documented which can be found on display today through collections and museums.
Solar aspects played a certain role in the Royal Power of Old Babylonia. Shamash is the god of the sun as well as the god of justice and divination as mentioned in The Code of Hammurapi the text states "May the god Shamash, the great judge of heaven and earth, who provides just ways for all living creatures, the lord, my trust, overturn his kingship". Shamash was considered to have an influence on Hammurabi and fosters the idea that he will execute the laws of justice on land as Shamash does in with his role as a god.
A recent translation of the Chogha Gavaneh tablets which date back to 1800 BC indicates there were close contacts between this town located in the intermontane valley of Islamabad in Central Zagros and Dyala region.
A text about the fall of Babylon by the Hittites of Mursilis I at the end of Samsuditana's reign, tells a story about a twin eclipse which is crucial for there to be a correct Babylonian chronology. The pair of lunar and solar eclipses occurred in the month of Shimanu (Sivan). The lunar eclipse took place on February 9, 1659 BC. It started at 4:43 and ended at 6:47. The latter was invisible which satisfies the record and which also tells that the moon setting was still eclipsed. The solar eclipse occurred on February 23, 1659. It started at 10:26, has its maximum at 11:45, and ended at 13:04. The Venus tablets of Ammisaduqa (i.e., several ancient versions on clay tablets) are famous, and several books had been published about them. Several dates have been offered but the old dates of many sourcebooks seem to be outdated and incorrect. There are further difficulties: the 21-year span of the detailed observations of the planet Venus may or may not coincide with the reign of this king, because his name is not mentioned, only the Year of the Golden Throne. A few sources, some printed almost a century ago, claim that the original text mentions an occultation of Venus by the moon. However, this may be a misinterpretation. Calculations support 1659 for the fall of Babylon, based on the statistical probability of dating based on the planet's observations. The presently accepted middle chronology is too low from the astronomical point of view.
Abisare ruled the ancient West Asian city-state of Larsa from 1841 BC to 1830 BC. He was an Amorite. The annals of his 11-year reign record that he smote Isin in his 9th regnal year.Apiashal
Apiashal (Akkadian: 𒀀𒉿𒀀𒊩, translit. A-pi-a-ŠAL) had been an early monarch (fl. c. 2205 BCE — c. 2192 BCE) of the Early Period of Aššūrāyu (Assyria) according to the Assyrian King List (AKL). He is listed within the section of the AKL as the last of whom, "altogether seventeen kings, tent dwellers." This section shows marked similarities to the ancestors of the First Babylonian Dynasty. The AKL also states that Apiashal had been preceded by his father Ushpia (fl. c. 2218 BCE — c. 2205 BCE.) Additionally, the AKL states that Apiashal had been succeeded by his son Hale (fl. c. 2192 BCE — c. 2179 BCE.)
Apiashal is also listed within a section of the AKL as the first out of the ten, "kings whose fathers are known.” This section (which in contrast to the rest of the list) had been written in reverse order—beginning with Aminu (fl. c. 2088 BCE — c. 2075 BCE.) and ending with Apiashal, "altogether ten kings who are ancestors"—has often been interpreted as the list of ancestors of the Amorite Šamši-Adad I (fl. c. 1754 BCE — c. 1721 BCE) who had conquered the city-state of Aššur. In keeping with this assumption, scholars have inferred that the original form of the Assyrian King List had been written (among other things) as an, “attempt to justify that Šamši-Adad I was a legitimate ruler of the city-state Aššur and to obscure his non-Assyrian antecedents by incorporating his ancestors into a native Assyrian genealogy.” However, this interpretation has not been accepted universally; the Cambridge Ancient History rejected this interpretation and instead interpreted the section as being that of the ancestors of Sulili (fl. c. 2075 BCE — c. 2062 BCE.) Very little is otherwise known of Apiashal's reign.Babylonia
Babylonia () was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). A small Amorite-ruled state emerged in 1894 BC, which contained the minor administrative town of Babylon. It was merely a small provincial town during the Akkadian Empire (2335–2154 BC) but greatly expanded during the reign of Hammurabi in the first half of the 18th century BC and became a major capital city. During the reign of Hammurabi and afterwards, Babylonia was called "the country of Akkad" (Māt Akkadī in Akkadian).It was often involved in rivalry with the older state of Assyria to the north and Elam to the east in Ancient Iran. Babylonia briefly became the major power in the region after Hammurabi (fl. c. 1792–1752 BC middle chronology, or c. 1696–1654 BC, short chronology) created a short-lived empire, succeeding the earlier Akkadian Empire, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Old Assyrian Empire. The Babylonian empire, however, rapidly fell apart after the death of Hammurabi and reverted to a small kingdom.
Like Assyria, the Babylonian state retained the written Akkadian language (the language of its native populace) for official use, despite its Northwest Semitic-speaking Amorite founders and Kassite successors, who spoke a language isolate, not being native Mesopotamians. It retained the Sumerian language for religious use (as did Assyria), but already by the time Babylon was founded, this was no longer a spoken language, having been wholly subsumed by Akkadian. The earlier Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in Babylonian and Assyrian culture, and the region would remain an important cultural center, even under its protracted periods of outside rule.
The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a clay tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC), dating back to the 23rd century BC. Babylon was merely a religious and cultural centre at this point and neither an independent state nor a large city; like the rest of Mesopotamia, it was subject to the Akkadian Empire which united all the Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule. After the collapse of the Akkadian empire, the south Mesopotamian region was dominated by the Gutian people for a few decades before the rise of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which restored order to the region and which, apart from northern Assyria, encompassed the whole of Mesopotamia, including the town of Babylon.Babylonian
Babylonian may refer to:
Babylon, a Semitic Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia founded in 1894 BC
Babylonia, an ancient Akkadian-speaking Semitic nation state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq)
Babylonian language, a dialect of the Akkadian languageEshnunna
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).Hale (Assyrian king)
Hale (Akkadian: 𒄩𒇷𒂊, translit. Ḫa-le-e) was the eighteenth Assyrian monarch of the Early Period of Aššūrāyu (Assyria) (fl. c. 2028 BC), according to the Assyrian King List (AKL).
Hale is listed within a section of the AKL as the second out of the ten “kings whose fathers are known”. This section has often been interpreted as the list of ancestors of the Amorite Shamshi-Adad I (fl. c. 1809 BC) who had conquered the city-state of Aššur. In keeping with this assumption, scholars have inferred that the original form of the AKL had been written (among other things) as an “attempt to justify that Šamši-Adad I was a legitimate ruler of the city-state Aššur and to obscure his non-Assyrian antecedents by incorporating his ancestors into a native Assyrian genealogy.” However, this interpretation has not been accepted universally; the Cambridge Ancient History rejected this interpretation and instead interpreted the section as being that of the ancestors of Sulili.The AKL also states the following: "Hale son of Apiashal," additionally; "Samani son of Hale." Apiashal (fl. c. 2029 BC) is listed within the section of the AKL as the last of "altogether seventeen kings, tent dwellers". This section shows marked similarities to the ancestors of the First Babylonian Dynasty.Very little is otherwise known about Hale's reign.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.Kassite deities
The Kassites, the ancient Near Eastern people who seized power in Babylonia following the fall of the first Babylonian Dynasty and subsequently went on to rule it for some three hundred and fifty years during the late bronze age, possessed a pantheon of gods but few are known beyond the laconic mention in the theophoric element of a name. The only Kassite deities who had separate and distinct temples anywhere in Babylonia were apparently the patron deities of the royal family, Šuqamuna and Šumaliya.The evidence from the Kassite-Akkadian vocabulary (pictured) discovered by Hormuzd Rassam and the Kassite-Akkadian name list is that the Kassites identified their gods with those of Mesopotamia, if these sources are sufficiently contemporary. Mountain gods were a popular motif in Kassite art, on cylinder seals and, for example, the brickwork façade of the temple of Karaindaš, the "Eanna of Inanna." The generic term for “god” in the Kassite language was mašḫu or bašḫu. Of the three hundred or so known Kassite words, around thirty of them are thought to be the names of deities, some strikingly similar to Indo-European god-names and this has been conjectured to be through contact transmission rather than linguistic affiliation. The language itself has been compared to several, such as Hittite and Elamite but genetically found wanting, possibly with the exception of the Hurrian language. Nine of the god-names appear as components of the Kassite kings' names and there are three in the post-Kassite monarchs, Simbar-Šipak, Kaššu-nādin-aḫi and Širikti-šuqamuna, providing some evidence of continued veneration for them or for the prestige their association provided.Kingdom of Khana
The Kingdom of Khana (end of 18th century BC – middle of 17th century BC) emerged during the decline of the First Babylonian Dynasty. A newer view is that only the initial six rulers lived during that time and after a interregnum, Khana re-emerged in the Middle Babylonian period under the last six kings. It was located on the middle Euphrates close to the junction of Khabur River. Its capital was the town of Terqa.Marduk-zakir-shumi II
Marduk-zâkir-šumi II was a Babylonian nobleman who served briefly as King of Babylon for a few months in 703 BC, following a revolt against the rule of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. He was soon overthrown and replaced by the former Chaldean king, Marduk-apal-iddina II.Nintinugga
Nintinugga was a Babylonian goddess of healing, the consort of Ninurta. She is identical with the goddess of Akkadian mythology, known as Bau (cuneiform: 𒀭𒁀𒌑 Dba-u2), Baba though it would seem that the two were originally independent. Later as Gula and in medical incantations, Bēlet or Balāti, also as the Azugallatu the "great healer",same as her son Damu. Other names borne by this goddess are Nin-Karrak, Nin Ezen, Ga-tum-dug and Nm-din-dug. Her epithets are "great healer of the land" and "great healer of the black-headed ones", a "herb grower", "the lady who makes the broken up whole again", and "creates life in the land", making her a vegetation/fertility goddess endowed with regenerative power. She was the daughter of An and a wife of Ninurta. She had seven daughters, including Hegir-Nuna (Gangir).
The name Bau is more common in the oldest period and gives way to Gula after the First Babylonian Dynasty. Since it is probable that Ninib has absorbed the cults of minor sun-deities, the two names may represent consorts of different gods. However this may be, the qualities of both are alike, and the two occur as synonymous designations of Ninib's female consort.
She was known as a patron deity of Lagash, where Gudea built her a temple.
After the Great Flood, she helped "breathe life" back into mankind. The designation well emphasizes the chief trait of Bau-Gula which is that of healer. She is often spoken of as "the great physician," and accordingly plays a specially prominent role in incantations and incantation rituals intended to relieve those suffering from disease.
She is, however, also invoked to curse those who trample upon the rights of rulers or those who do wrong with poisonous potions. As in the case of Ninib, the cult of Bau-Gula is prominent in Shirgulla and in Nippur. While generally in close association with her consort, she is also invoked alone, giving her more dominance than most of the goddesses of Babylonia and Assyria.
In the Neo-Babylonian period, she also had an oneiric quality. She had sometimes violent nature as the "queen whose 'tempest', like a raging storm, makes heaven tremble, makes earth quake". ). She was a source for blasphemous remarks where Gula and her dogs are mentioned in formulae of a curse.She appears in a prominent position on the designs accompanying the Kudurrus boundary-stone monuments of Babylonia, being represented by a portrait, when other gods and goddesses are merely pictured by their shrines, by sacred animals or by weapons. In neo-Babylonian days her cult continues to occupy a prominent position, and Nebuchadrezzar II speaks of no less than three chapels or shrines within the sacred precincts of E-Zida in the city of Borsippa, besides a temple in her honour at Babylon.Nur-Adad
Nur-Adad ruled the ancient Near East city-state
of Larsa from 1801 BC to 1785 BC (short chronology). He was a contemporary of Sumu-la-El of Babylon.Old Babylonian
Old Babylonian may refer to:
the period of the First Babylonian Dynasty (20th to 16th centuries BC)
the historical stage of the Akkadian language of that timeRim-Sin II
Rim-Sin II ruled the ancient Near East city-state
of Larsa from 1678 BC to 1674 BC (short chronology). Rim-Sin II was a contemporary of Samsu-iluna of Babylon.Samium
Samium ruled the ancient Near Eastern city-state of Larsa from 1912 BC to 1877 BC short chronology. He was an Amorite. He had a son called Zabaia.Sin-Iqisham
Sin-Iqisham ruled the ancient Near East city-state of Larsa from 1776 BC to 1771 BC. He was the son of Sin-Eribam and a contemporary of Zambiya of Isin.The annals for his five-year reign record that he seized Pinaratim and Nazarum in his second year, and that he defeated Kazallu, Elam, and Zambiya king of Isin and Babylon in his fifth year.Sumu-la-El
Sumu-la-El (also Sumulael or Sumu-la-ilu) was a King in the First Dynasty of Babylon. He reigned c. 1817 – 1781 BC (short chronology).Sîn-kāšid
Sîn-kāšid, inscribed dEN.ZU-kà-ši-id, was the king of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk during the first half of the 18th century BC. His precise dating is uncertain, perhaps ca. 1803–1770 BC (short chronology) corresponding to ca.1865–1833 BC (middle chronology), but likely to have been fairly long due to the voluminous building inscriptions extant for which he is best known and contemporary with Nur-Adad of Larsa (1801–1785 BC) and Enlil-bāni of Isin (ca. 1798–1775 BC). His apparent lack of relationship with any of the preceding rulers of Uruk and his omission of mentioning his father in any of his inscriptions has led to the belief that he was the founder of a dynasty. He participated in a diplomatic marriage with Šallurtum, the daughter of Sūmû-la-Il (ca. 1817–1781 BC), the second king of the First Babylonian Dynasty, as her name and epithets appear in the seal impressions of three clay bullae recovered from the remains of his palace.Zabaia
Zabaia ruled the ancient Near East city-state
of Larsa from 1877 BC to 1868 BC (short chronology). He was an Amorite and the son of