Hassum (also given as Khashshum, Ḫaššum, Hassu, Hassuwa or Hazuwan) was a Hurrian city-state,[1] located in southern Turkey most probably on the Euphrates river north of Carchemish.[2]


The city was a vassal to Ebla, it was mentioned in the Tablets of Ebla as Hazuwan, and was governed by its own king.[3] it came under the influence of Mari for a short period of time in the 24th century BC,[4] before Irkab-Damu of Ebla regained influence over the area,[5] the city survived the Akkadians conquests in 2240 BC and flourished as a trade center in the first half of the 2nd millennia BC.[6]

In the beginning of 18th century BC, Hassum allied with Yamhad against Yahdun-Lim of Mari,[7] it later helped Yamhad against a kingdom in Zalmakum (a marshy region between the Euphrates and lower Balikh),[8] but then shifted alliance to Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria after he annexed Mari and sent him a 1000 troops to attack Sumu-Epuh of Yamhad.[9][10] later, Yarim-Lim I of Yamhad brought Hassum under his hegemony, the city remained subjugated to Yamhad until the Hittite conquest.[11]

Hittite Conquest

In the course of his war against Yamhad, Hattusili I of the Hittites, having destroyed Alalakh and Urshu, headed toward Hassum in his sixth year (around 1644 BC, middle chronology), Yarim-Lim III of Yamhad sent his army under the leadership of General Zukrassi the heavy-armed troops leader accompanied by General Zaludis the commander of the Manda troops, they united with the army of Hashshum,[12] then the battle of Atalur mountain ensued (Atalur is located north of Aleppo not very far from the Amanus, it can be identified with the Kurd-Dagh Mountains),[13][14] Hattusili destroyed his enemies and moved on to burn and loot Hassum. The citizens rallied their forces three times against the Hittites,[15] but Hattusili sacked the city and seized the statuses of the god Teshub, his wife Hebat and a pair of silver bulls that were the bulls of Teshub,[16] and carried them to Hattusa,[17] where they were kept in the temple of Arinna.[18]

The king of Hassum was captured and humiliated, he was harnessed to one of the wagons used to transport the loots of his city and taken to the Hittite capital.[19] a century later, Hittite king Telipinu (fl. c. 1500 BC) mentions Hassum as his chief enemy and his destruction of the city.[2][20][21]

See also



  1. ^ Roland de Vaux. The early history of Israel, Volume 2. p. 65.
  2. ^ a b Trevor Bryce. The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia. p. 295.
  3. ^ Pelio Fronzaroli. Lingua di Ebla e la linguistica semitica. p. 237.
  4. ^ Mario Liverani. The Ancient Near East: History, Society and Economy. p. 202.
  5. ^ Horst Klengel. Syria, 3000 to 300 B.C.: a handbook of political history. p. 28.
  6. ^ E. J. Peltenburg. Euphrates River Valley Settlement: The Carchemish Sector in the Third Millennium Bc. p. 157.
  7. ^ Yuhong Wu. A Political History of Eshnunna, Mari and Assyria During the Early Old Babylonian Period: From the End of Ur III to the Death of Šamši-Adad. p. 131.
  8. ^ Sidney Smith. Anatolian Studies: Journal of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. Special number in honour and in memory of John Garstang, 5th May, 1876 - 12th September, 1956, Volume 6. p. 38.
  9. ^ J. R. Kupper. The Cambridge Ancient History Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. p. 19.
  10. ^ Jack M. Sasson. The Military Establishments at Mari. p. 44.
  11. ^ Gordon Douglas Young. Ugarit in Retrospect: Fifty Years of Ugarit and Ugaritic. p. 7.
  12. ^ Robert Drews. The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C. p. 106.
  13. ^ Shigeo Yamada. The Construction of the Assyrian Empire. p. 105.
  14. ^ Michael C. Astour. Hellenosemitica: an ethnic and cultural study in west Semitic impact on Mycenaean Greece. p. 388.
  15. ^ Trevor Bryce. Hittite Warrior. p. 43.
  16. ^ Roland de Vaux. The early history of Israel, Volume 2. p. 66.
  17. ^ J. R. Kupper. The Cambridge Ancient History Northern Mesopotamia and Syria. p. 38.
  18. ^ William J. Hamblin. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC. p. 287.
  19. ^ Trevor Bryce. The Kingdom of the Hittites. p. 83.
  20. ^ Harry A. Hoffner; Gary M. Beckman; Richard Henry Beal; John Gregory McMahon. Hittite Studies in Honor of Harry A. Hoffner Jr. p. 10.
  21. ^ Albrecht Götze. Kizzuwatna and the problem of Hittite geography. p. 72.
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Yamhad was an ancient Semitic kingdom centered on Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military and diplomacy to expand their realm. From the beginning of its establishment, the kingdom withstood the aggressions of its neighbors Mari, Qatna and Assyria, and was turned into the most powerful Syrian kingdom of its era through the actions of its king Yarim-Lim I. By the middle of the 18th century BC, most of Syria minus the south came under the authority of Yamhad, either as a direct possession or through vassalage, and for nearly a century and a half, Yamhad dominated northern, northwestern and eastern Syria, and had influence over small kingdoms in Mesopotamia at the borders of Elam. The kingdom was eventually destroyed by the Hittites, then annexed by Mitanni in the 16th century BC.

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Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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