Limmu was an Assyrian eponym. At the beginning of the reign of an Assyrian king, the limmu, an appointed royal official, would preside over the New Year festival at the capital. Each year a new limmu would be chosen[1]. Although picked by lot, there was most likely a limited group, such as the men of the most prominent families or perhaps members of the city assembly.[2] The Assyrians used the name of the limmu for that year to designate the year on official documents. Lists of limmus have been found accounting for every year between 892 BC and 648 BC.

During the Old Assyrian period, the king himself was never the limmum, as it was called in their language. In the Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian periods, however, the king could take this office.


  1. ^ "The Old and Middle Assyrian limmu officials [CDLI Wiki]". Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  2. ^ "Limmu List (858-699 BCE) - Livius". Retrieved 2019-04-01.

See also

Aster Ganno

Aster Ganno (c.1872–1964) was an Ethiopian Bible translator who worked with the better known Onesimos Nesib as a translator of the Oromo Bible, published in 1899.

She was born free, but was later enslaved by the king of Limmu-Ennarea. She was emancipated in 1886 when Italian ships intercepted a boat which was taking her to be sold on the Arabian Peninsula, then took her to Eritrea where the Imkullu school of the Swedish Evangelical Mission took her in. Aster (by Ethiopian custom, she is referred to by her first name) was educated at their school . Onesimos quickly “discovered that Aster was endowed with considerable mental gifts and possessed a real feeling for the Oromo language” (Arén 1978:383). She was assigned to compile an Oromo dictionary, which was first used in polishing a translation of New Testament published in 1893.

Aster also translated a book of Bible stories and wrote down 500 traditional Oromo riddles, fables, proverbs, and songs, many of which were published in a volume for beginning readers (1894). She later worked with Onesimos in compiling an Oromo hymnbook. Arén reports that a large amount of folklore she collected is still unpublished, preserved by the Hylander family (1978:384, fn. 71).

Aster and Onesimos completed translating the complete Bible into Oromo, which was printed in 1899. The title page and history credit Onesimos as the translator, but it appears that Aster's contribution was not, and still is not, adequately appreciated.In 1904, Aster, together with Onesimos and other Oromos, were able to move from Eritrea back to Wellega, where they established schools, Aster serving as a teacher at Nekemte.

Chora Botor

Chora Botor is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It was part of Limmu Kosa woreda. It is part of the Jimma Zone.


Enlil-nirari (“Enlil is my helper”) was King of Assyria from 1330 BC to 1319 BC, (or from 1317 BC to 1308 BC short chronology) during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 - 1050 BC). He was the son of Aššur-uballiṭ I. He was apparently the earliest king to have been identified as having held eponym, or limmu, office.

Eponym dating system

The Eponym dating system was a calendar system for Assyria, for a period of over one thousand years. Every year was associated with the name, an eponym, of the Limmu, the individual holding office.

The dating system is thought to have originated in the ancient city of Assur, and remained the official dating system in Assyria until the end of the Assyrian Empire in the seventh century BC. The names of the Limmu who became eponyms were originally chosen by lot sortition, until the first millennium it became a fixed rotation of officers headed by the king who constituted the limmu. The earliest known attestations of a year eponyms are at Karum-Kanesh, and became used in other Assyrian colonies in Anatolia. Its spread was due to Shamshi-Adad I's unification of northern Mesopotamia.

Erishum I

Erishum I or Erišu(m) I (inscribed me-ri-šu, or mAPIN-ìš in later texts but always with an initial i in his own seal, inscriptions, and those of his immediate successors, “he has desired,”) c. 1905 BC — c. 1866 BC (short chronology) or c. 1974 BC — c. 1935 BC (middle chronology), son of Ilu-shuma, was the thirty-third ruler of Assyria to appear on the Assyrian King List. He reigned for forty years. One of two copies of the Assyrian King List which include him gives his reign length as only 30 years, but this contrasts with a complete list of his limmu, some 40, which are extant from tablets recovered at Karum Kanesh. He had titled himself both as, "Ashur is king, Erishum I is vice-regent" and the, “Išši’ak Aššur”ki (“steward of Assur”), at a time when Assur was controlled by an oligarchy of the patriarchs of the prominent families and subject to the “judgment of the city”, or dīn alim. According to Veenhof, Erishum I’s reign marks the period when the institution of the annually appointed limmu (eponym) was introduced. The Assyrian King List observes of his immediate predecessors, “in all six kings known from bricks, whose limmu have not been marked/found”.

Gibe region

The Gibe region is used to indicate a historic region in modern southwestern Ethiopia, to the west of the Gibe and Omo Rivers, and north of the Gojeb. It was the location of the former Oromo and Sidama kingdoms of Gera, Gomma, Garo, Gumma, Jimma, and Limmu-Ennarea.

To the north of the Gibe region lay the Macha tribe of the Oromo.

Until the mid 16th century, this region was part of the Sidama kingdoms of Ennarea, Hadiya, Janjero and Kaffa, tributary states to the Ethiopian Solomonic dynasty. The area was separated however, when the Oromo migrated into the area, destroying Hadiya, isolating Janjero, and reduced the area of Enerea and Kaffa. In the Gibe region, the Oromo came under the cultural influence of the kingdom of Kaffa, from whom they borrowed the concept of hereditary kingship (called Moti in all of the kingdoms except Limmu-Enerea, where for historical reasons the king was known as the Supera), and the practice of delimiting the boundaries or frontier of their states with a system of physical barriers.These barriers consisted of palisades or dead hedges, which could extend for miles, separated from the barriers of the neighboring kingdom by a neutral strip (called moga), which was left uncultivated and inhabited only by brigands and outlaws. Access into each kingdom was limited to guarded gates known as kella, where tolls were leviedThese kingdoms had an economy based on exports of gold, civet musk, coffee, and slaves. G.W.B. Huntingford explains that slaves were taken in raids on the Macha tribe to the north, and in raids on the Sidamo kingdoms of Kaffa and Janjero; he also cites evidence to show that 7,000 people a year were sold each year, some to people inside Ethiopia, and some outside that country.The Gibe region, with the rest of southwestern Ethiopia, was almost entirely annexed between 1886 and 1900 in a series of conquests by the generals of Emperor Menelik II. The kingdom of Jimma, through skillful diplomacy, managed to delay this fate until the death of its king Abba Jifar II in 1932.

Gomma (woreda)

Gomma is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is named after the former Kingdom of Gomma, whose territory was roughly the same as the modern woreda. Part of the Jimma Zone, Gomma is bordered on the south by Seka Chekorsa, on the southwest by Gera, on the northwest by Setema, on the north by the Didessa River which separates it from the Illubabor Zone, on the northeast by Limmu Kosa, and on the east by Mana. Towns include Beshasha, Choche, Ghembe, and Limmu Shaye. Guma woreda was separated from Gomma.

Haro Limmu

Haro Limmu is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is part of the Misraq Welega Zone. It was separated from Limmu woreda. It is bounded by Limmu in the east, Benishangul-Gumuz Region in the west and Anger River in the south and Ibantu in the north. Haro is the administrative center.


Ikunum (Akkadian: 𒄿𒆪𒉡, translit. I-ku-nu) was a king of Assyria between 1867 BC – 1860 BC and the son of Ilushuma. He built a temple for the god Ninkigal. He strengthened the fortifications of the city of Assur and maintained commercial colonies in Asia Minor. The following is a list of the sixteen annually-elected limmu officials from the year of accession of Ikunum until the year of his death. BC dates are based on a date of 1833 BC for the recorded solar eclipse in the limmu of Puzur-Ištar:1920 BC Buzi son of Adad-rabi

1919 BC Šuli son of Šalmah

1918 BC Iddin-Suen son of Šalmah

1917 BC Ikunum son of Šudaya

1916 BC Dan-Wer son of Ahu-ahi

1915 BC Šu-Anum from Nerabtim

1914 BC Il-massu son of Aššur-ṭab

1913 BC Šu-Hubur son of Šuli

1912 BC Idua son of Ṣulili

1911 BC Laqip son of Puzur-Laba

1910 BC Šu-Anum the hapirum

1909 BC Uku son of Bila

1908 BC Aššur-malik son of Panaka

1907 BC Dan-Aššur son of Puzur-Wer

1906 BC Šu-Kubum son of Ahu-ahi

1905 BC Irišum son of Iddin-Aššur

Kingdom of Gumma

The Kingdom of Gumma was one of the kingdoms in the Gibe region of Ethiopia that emerged in the 18th century. Its eastern border was formed by the bend of the Didessa River, which separated it from (proceeding downstream to upstream) Limmu-Ennarea to the northeast, and the kingdoms of Gomma and Gera to the south. Beyond its northern border were various Macha Oromo groups, and to the west Sidamo groups. Its territory corresponds approximately with the modern woredas of Gechi and Didessa.

This former kingdom was mostly located on a plateau with an average elevation of 6500 feet, and had a population estimated in 1880 of about 50,000. Its inhabitants had a reputation as warriors. Beckingham and Huntingford considered Gumma, along with Gomma, was the least economically developed of the Gibe kingdoms; however Mohamed Hassen notes that, with the exception of the northern and western boundaries where constant raiding by her neighbors, the Arjo in the north and the Nonno in the west, forced those living in those parts to embrace pastoralism, the land was intensively farmed and grew many of the same crops as the other Gibe kingdoms -- sorghum, wheat, barley and cotton—except for coffee.

Kingdom of Jimma

The Kingdom of Jimma was one of the kingdoms in the Gibe region of Ethiopia that emerged in the 19th century. It shared its western border with Limmu-Ennarea, its eastern border with the Sidamo Kingdom of Janjero, and was separated from the Kingdom of Kaffa to the south by the Gojeb River. Jimma was considered the most powerful militarily of the Gibe kingdoms. Dawro, an Ometo dialect, was the native language; it later slowly gave way to Oromo.

Kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea

The Kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea was one of the kingdoms in the Gibe region of Ethiopia that emerged in the 19th century. It shared its eastern border with the Kingdom of Jimma, its southern border with the Kingdom of Gomma and its western border with the Kingdom of Gumma. Beyond its northern border lay tribes of the Macha Oromo. Jimma was considered the most civilized of the Gibe kingdoms, which had a population in the 1880s between 10,000 and 12,000. It was converted to Islam by missionaries from Harar in the first half of the 19th century; C.T. Beke, writing in 1841, reported that its "king and most of his subjects are Mohammedan." Limmu-Ennarea's capital was at Saqqa.

The location of this former kingdom has a north to south central elevation between 1,500 and over 2,000 metres (5,000 to over 6,500 feet), and is covered with forests. The population of this kingdom was estimated in 1880 to have been about 40,000, including slaves. However, this was after an epidemic of plague in the late 1840s, and Mordechai Abir estimates the population before that calamity to have been around 100,000.

Limmu (woreda)

Limmu is one of woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Misraq (East) Welega Zone, Limmu is bordered on the south by an exclave of the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, on the southwest by Sasiga, on the west by the Benishangul-Gumuz Region, on the north by Ibantu, and on the east by Gida Kiremu. The administrative center of the woreda is Gelila. Haro Limmu woreda was part of Limmu woreda.

Limmu Kosa

Limmu Kosa is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is named in part after the former kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea, whose territories included the area this woreda now covers. Part of the Jimma Zone, Limmu Kosa is bordered on the south by Kersa, on the southwest by Mana, on the west by Gomma, on the northwest by the Didessa River which separates it from the Illubabor Zone, on the north by Limmu Sakka, on the northeast by the Gibe River which separates it from the Mirab Shewa Zone and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region, on the east by Sokoru, and on the southeast by Tiro Afeta. The administrative center of this woreda is Genet; other towns include Ambuye and Babu. Chora Botor woreda was separated from Limmu Kosa.

Limmu Sakka

Limmu Sakka is one of the woredas in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is named in part after the former kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea, whose territories included the area this woreda now covers. Part of the Jimma Zone, Limmu Sakka is bordered on the southwest by the Didessa River which separates it from the Illubabor Zone, on the northwest by the Misraq Welega Zone, on the northeast by the Gibe River which separates it from the Mirab Shewa Zone, and on the southeast by Limmu Kosa. The administrative center of the woreda is Atnago; other towns include Saqqa, the capital of the former kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea.


Saqqa (also known as Limmu Saqqa) is a town in south-western Ethiopia, and capital of the former Kingdom of Limmu-Ennarea. Located in the Jimma Zone of the Oromia Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of 08°12′N 36°56′E.

Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this town has an estimated total population of 2,679 of whom 1,379 were men and 1,300 were women. The 1994 census reported this town had a total population of 1,497 of whom 748 were males and 749 were females. It is one of two towns in Limmu Sakka woreda.

Shalmaneser I

Shalmaneser I (Shulmanu-asharedu; 1274 BC – 1245 BC or 1265 BC – 1235 BC) was a king of Assyria during the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365 - 1050 BC). Son of Adad-nirari I, he succeeded his father as king in 1265 BC.

According to his annals, discovered at Assur, in his first year he conquered eight countries in the northwest and destroyed the fortress of Arinnu, the dust of which he brought to Assur. In his second year he defeated Shattuara, king of Hanilgalbat (Mitanni), and his Hittite and Ahlamu allies. He incorporated the remains of the Mittanni kingdom as part of one of the Assyrian provinces. Shalmaneser I also claimed to have blinded 14,400 enemy prisoners in one eye. He was one of the first Assyrian kings who was known to deport his defeated enemies to various lands rather than simply slaughtering them all.

He conquered the whole country from Taidu to Irridu, from Mount Kashiar to Eluhat, and from the fortresses of Sudu and Harranu to Carchemish on the Euphrates. He built palaces at Assur and Nineveh, restored the "world-temple" at Assur (Ehursagkurkurra), and founded the city of Kalhu (the biblical Calah/Nimrud). He was succeeded by his son Tukulti-Ninurta I.

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