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The King of Assyria (Akkadian: šar māt Aššur[1]) or Governor of Assyria (Akkadian: Išši’ak Aššur[2]), the exact titulature depending on the period and the personal accomplishments of the king, was the ruler of the ancient Mesopotamian kingdom of Assyria, which existed from approximately the 26th century BC to the 7th century BC. All modern lists of Assyrian kings generally follow the Assyrian King List, a list kept and developed by the ancient Assyrians themselves over the course of several centuries. Though some parts of the list are probably fictional, the list accords well with Hittite, Babylonian and ancient Egyptian king lists and with the archaeological record, and is generally considered reliable for the age.

King of Assyria
Sargon II and dignitary (particular).jpg
Sargon II
722–705 BC
Founder of the Sargonid dynasty, the final and greatest ruling house of Assyria
Details
StyleDepending on period, extent of reign and personal accomplishments. Usually šar māt Aššur ("king of Assyria") or Išši’ak Aššur ("governor of Assyria").
See Akkadian royal titulary.
First monarchTudiya
Last monarchAshur-uballit II
Formationc. 2450 BC
Abolition609 BC
AppointerDivine right, hereditary

Originally vassals of more powerful empires, the early Assyrian kings used the title of Išši’ak Aššur ("Governor of Assyria"), which was retained as the ruling title after Assyria gained independence due to the title of king (šar) later being applied to the principal deity of Assyria, Ashur. Later Assyrian kings would use šar māt Aššur and also adopt more boastful titles such as "king of Sumer and Akkad", "king of the Universe" and "king of the Four Corners of the World", often to assert their control over all of Mesopotamia.

Contents

SourcesEdit

 
Assyrian King List of the 7th century BC on a terracotta tablet, from Aššur, Iraq. Housed at the Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul.

Incomplete king-lists have been recovered from all three of the major ancient Assyrian capitals (Aššur, Dur-Šarukkin and Nineveh). The three lists are largely consistent with each other, all originally copies of a single original list, and are based on the yearly appointments of limmu-officials (the eponymous officials for each year, appointed by the king to preside over the celebration of the New Year festival). Because of the consistency between the list and the method through which it was created, modern scholars usually accept the regnal years mentioned as more or less correct. There are some differences between the copies of the list, notably in that they offer somewhat diverging regnal years before the reign of king Ashur-dan I of the Middle Assyrian Empire (reign beginning in 1178 BC). After 1178 BC, the lists are identical in their contents.[3]

The king-lists mostly accord well with Hittite, Babylonian and ancient Egyptian king lists and with the archaeological record, and are generally considered reliable for the age.[4] It is however clear that parts of the list are fictional, as some known kings are not found on the list and other listed kings are not independently verified.[5] Originally it was assumed that the list was first written in the time of Shamshi-Adad I circa 1800 BC but it now is considered to date from much later, probably from the time of Ashurnasirpal I (1050–1031 BC).[6] The oldest of the surviving king-lists, List A (8th century BC) stops at Tiglath-Pileser II (c. 967–935 BC) and the youngest, List C, stops at Shalmaneser V (727–722 BC).[7]

One problem that arises with the Assyrian King List is that the creation of the list may have been more motivated by political interest than actual chronological and historical accuracy. In times of civil strife and confusion, the list still adheres to a single royal line of descent, probably ignoring rival claimants to the throne.[8] Additionally, there are some known inconsistencies between the list and actual inscriptions by Assyrian kings, often regarding dynastic relationships. For instance, Ashur-nirari II is stated by the list to be the son of his predecessor Enlil-Nasir II, but from inscriptions it is known that he was actually the son of Ashur-rabi I and brother of Enlil-Nasir.[9]

TitlesEdit

 
Text and seal of Shamash-shum-ukim, a Neo-Assyrian king of Babylon, featuring a depiction of the king fighting an oryx antelope. Now housed in the British Museum.

Assyrian royal titles typically followed trends that had begun under the Akkadian Empire (c. 2334–2154 BC), the Mesopotamian civilization that preceded the later kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon. When the Mesopotamian central government under the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112–2004 BC) collapsed and polities that had once been vassals to Ur became independent, many of the new sovereign rulers refrained from taking the title of king (šar), instead applying that title to their principal deities (in the case of Assyria, Ashur). For this reason, most of the Assyrian kings of the Old (c. 2025–1378 BC) and Middle Assyrian period (c. 1392–934 BC) used the title Išši’ak Aššur, translating to "governor of Assyria".[10][2]

In contrast to the titles employed by the Babylonian kings in the south, which typically focused on the protective role and the piety of the king, Assyrian royal inscriptions tend to glorify the strength and power of the king.[11] Assyrian titularies usually also often emphasize the royal genaeology of the king, something Babylonian titularies do not, and also drive home the king's moral and physical qualities while downplaying his role in the judicial system.[12] Assyrian epithets about royal lineage vary in how far they stretch back, most often simply discussing lineage in terms of "son of ..." or "brother of ...". Some cases display lineage stretching back much further, Shamash-shuma-ukin (r. 667–648 BC) describes himself as a "descendant of Sargon II", his great-grandfather. More extremely, Esarhaddon (r. 681–669 BC) calls himself a "descendant of the eternal seed of Bel-bani", a king who would have lived more than a thousand years before him.[13]

Assyrian royal titularies were often changed depending on where the titles were to be displayed, the titles of the same Assyrian king would have been different in their home country of Assyria and in conquered regions. Those Neo-Assyrian kings who controlled the city of Babylon used a "hybrid" titulary of sorts in the south, combining aspects of the Assyrian and Babylonian tradition, similar to how the traditional Babylonian deities were promoted in the south alongside the Assyrian main deity of Ashur.[12] The assumption of many traditional southern titles, including the ancient "king of Sumer and Akkad" and the boastful "king of the Universe" and "king of the Four Corners of the World", by the Assyrian kings served to legitimize their rule and assert their control over Babylon and lower Mesopotamia.[14] Epithets like "chosen by the god Marduk and the goddess Sarpanit" and "favourite of the god Ashur and the goddess Mullissu", both assumed by Esarhaddon, illustrate that he was both Assyrian (Ashur and Mullissu, the main pair of Assyrian deities) and a legitimate ruler over Babylon (Marduk and Sarpanit, the main pair of Babylonian deities).[15]

To examplify an Assyrian royal title from the time Assyria ruled all of Mesopotamia, the titulature preserved from Sargon II (r. 722–705 BC) in Babylon reads as follows;[1]

In Akkadian:

Mu’e’’ru māt Aššur u gimir Amurrî, nibīt Asari, rubû zāninšu/ša, sipa ma-da aš-šurki-ke, šakkanakki Bābili, šar Bābili, šar kiššati, šar māt Aššur, šar māt Šumerî u Akkadî, šarru dannu, šarru rabû, šar(ru) zāninša, zānin Esagil u Ezida

Translated:

Commander of Assyria and all of Amurru, designate of Asari, prince who provides for him/her, shepherd of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Babylon, king of the Universe, king of Assyria, king of Sumer and Akkad, strong king, great king, king who provides for her, provider of Esagila and Ezida

It is important to note that "king of Babylon" only precedes "king of Assyria" in royal titularies made in, or displayed in, Babylon itself. On the Kition stele, discovered in Cyprus, the titles of Sargon II follow a similar pattern with some noteworthy differences; king of the Universe, king of Assyria, governor of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the Four Corners of the World. "King of Babylon" is dropped altogether and "governor of Babylon" has been pushed after "king of Assyria".[16]

List of kingsEdit

The list below follows the format below. Where applicable, the short chronology of ancient Mesopotamian history has been favored.

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
Number to rule Image, if possible Name of the king
Name in Akkadian language
meaning of the name, if possible
Years of reign
(length of reign)
Reason for succeeding to the throne Additional details concerning the king's reign Citations

Early Assyrian kings (2450–2025 BC)Edit

As in the Sumerian king list, it is possible that some of the rulers listed below were contemporaries rather than predecessors and successors of each other.[17] No dates are provided by the Assyrian King List for kings preceding the Old Assyrian Empire.[3]

"Kings who lived in tents"Edit

The intention of the author of the list, describing the first (probably all fictional, note the rhyming names) seventeen kings as "kings who lived in tents", was probably to indicate them as nomadic kings of the Assyrians.[3] Considering them "living in tents", these rulers (if they were real in the first place) probably did not govern the actual city of Aššur itself.[17] It is possible that the conclusion of this section on the king list would have indicated and end of the nomadic period of Assyrian history and the foundation of Aššur.[18]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
1 Tudiya
Ṭu-di-ia
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
2 Adamu
A-da-mu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
3 Yangi
Ia-an-gi
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
4 Suhlamu
Suḫ-la-a-mu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
5 Harharu
Ḫar-ḫa-ru
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
6 Mandaru
Man-da-ru
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
7 Imsu
Im-ZUM
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
8 Harsu
Ḫar.Zum
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
9 Didanu
Di-da-a-nu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
10 Hana
Ḫa-nu-ú
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
11 Zuabu
Zu-a-bu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
12 Nuabu
Nu-a-bu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
13 Abazu
Ab-a-zu
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
14 Belu
Be-lu-ú
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
15 Azarah
A-za-ra-aḫ
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]
16 Ushpia
Uš-pi-a
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown Possibly the founder of the temple dedicated to Ashur in Aššur. [3][19][18]
17 Apiashal
A-pi-a-ŠAL
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Ushpia [3][19]

"Kings who were ancestors"Edit

The meaning of "kings who were ancestors" is unclear, this section is also the only section of the Assyrian king list to be written in reverted order for reasons unknown. The list mentions "ten kings who were ancestors" but includes the final king of the "kings who lived in tents", Apiashal, as one of them, possibly an error.[3]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
17 Apiashal
A-pi-a-ŠAL
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Ushpia Also appeared in the preceding section. [3][19]
18 Hale
Ḫa-le-e
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Apiashal [3][19]
19 Samani
Sa-ma-nu
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Hale [3][19]
20 Hayani
Ḫa-ia-a-ni
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Samani [3][19]
21 Ilu-Mer
Ilu-Me-Er
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Hayani [3][19]
22 Yakmesi
Ia-ak-me-si
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Ilu-Mer [3][19]
23 Yakmeni
Ia-ak-me-ni
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Yakmesi [3][19]
24 Yazkur-el
Ia-az-KUR-él
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Yakmeni [3][19]
25 Ila-kabkabu
ILA-KAB-ka-bi
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Yazkur-el [3][19]
26 Aminu
A-mi-nu
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Ila-kabkabu [3][19]

"Kings named on bricks whose eponyms are unknown"Edit

The kings listed in this section would probably have been early rulers of Aššur.[7]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
27 Sulili
Su-li-li
Unknown, no dates provided Son of Aminu [3][19]
28 Kikkia
Ki-ik-ki-a
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown Mentioned by later kings as having restored the inner city wall of Aššur. [3][19][20]
29 Akiya
A-ki-ia
Unknown, no dates provided Unknown [3][19]

Old Assyrian kings (2025–1380 BC)Edit

The Old Assyrian kings can based on their relationships be divided into four groupings; the dynasty of Puzur-Ashur, followed by the dynasty of Shamshi-Adad (also known as the Amorite dynasty), followed by a period of Babylonian domination of Assyria, finally followed by the Adaside dynasty.[21]

Dynasty of Puzur-Ashur (2025–1749 BC)Edit

The period beginning with Puzur-Ashur I's reign is sometimes referred to as the dynasty of Puzur-Ashur.[22] Puzur-Ashur's line saw the beginning of true Akkadian names in the Assyrian royal line as opposed to earlier names which may have corresponded closer to Hurrian names.[17] The three first kings listed here are part of the earlier "kings named on bricks whose eponyms are unknown" section of the king list,[7] but have been included here due to their dynastic relationship.

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
30 Puzur-Ashur I
Puzur-Aššur
"servant of Ashur"
fl. c. 2000 BC Unknown Mentioned by later kings as having restored the inner city wall of Aššur. [3][19][22][23]
31 Shalim-ahum
Šallim-aḫḫe
"keep the brothers safe"
fl. c. 1900 BC Son of Puzur-Ashur I The earliest Assyrian ruler to be attested in a contemporary inscription. [3][19][24]
32 Ilu-shuma
Ilu-šum-ma
c. 1927 BC — c. 1906 BC
(21 years)
Son of Shalim-ahum Although listed as one of the kings whose reigns were unknown, later inscriptions indicate that Ilu-shuma would have ruled for 21 years and preceded Tukulti-Ninurta I by 720 years. [3][19][24][25]
33 Erishum I
e-ri-šu
c. 1905 BC — c. 1867 BC
(38 years)
Son of Ilu-shuma Possibly the constructor of the temple of Ashur, given a reign of 30 or 40 years depending on the version of the king list. [26]
34 Ikunum
I-ku-nu
c. 1867 BC — c. 1860 BC
(7 years)
Brother of Erishum I, son of Ilu-shuma Strengthened Aššur and maintained commercial colonies in Asia Minor. [26][27][28]
35 Sargon I
Šarru-ukīn
"the king is legitimate"
c. 1860 BC — c.1821 BC
(39 years)
Son of Ikunum Known to have refortified Aššur. Possibly named after the Akkadian king Sargon of Akkad. [26][29][27]
36 Puzur-Ashur II
Puzur-Aššur
"servant of Ashur"
c. 1821 BC — c.1813 BC
(8 years)
Son of Sargon I Due to the long reign of his predecessor, Puzur-Ashur II came to throne relatively late in life. [26][27]
37 Naram-Sin
Na-ra-am Sîn
"beloved of the Moon God Sîn"
c. 1813 BC — c.1769 BC
(44 years)
Son of Puzur-Ashur II Naram-Sin and his son Erishum II had a combined reign length of 64 years. Possibly named after the Akkadian king Naram-Sin of Akkad. [26][27]
38 Erishum II
e-ri-šu
c. 1769 BC — c.1749 BC
(20 years)
Son of Naram-Sin Last king of the line of Puzur-Ashur, deposed by the Amorite Shamshi-Adad I. [26][27]

Dynasty of Shamshi-Adad (1749–1706 BC)Edit

Also referred to as the period of Amorite domination over Assyria.[21]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
39 Shamshi-Adad I
Šam-ši-Adad
c. 1749 BC — c.1716 BC
(33 years)
Usurper, possibly related to earlier kings such as Sulili Originally the king of Terqa, Shamshi-Adad became king of Assyria after deposing Erishum II. As king, Shamshi-Adad conquered significant territories and was the first Assyrian king to adopt the title of "king of the Universe". [19]
40 Ishme-Dagan I
Išme-Dagān
"(the god) Dagan has heard"
c. 1716 BC — c.1705 BC
(11 years)
Son of Shamshi-Adad I Accorded with a reign of forty years by the king list, archaeological findings and limmu inscriptions instead suggest a reign of only eleven years. [19]
41 Mut-Ashkur c. 1705 BC — c.1695 BC
(10 years)
Son of Ishme-Dagan I Married to the daughter of the Hurrian king Zaziya. [30]
42 Rimush
Ri-mu-uš
"his beloved"
Unknown, inscriptions fragmentary, 17th century BC Descendant of Shamshi-Adad I, exact relationship unknown Probably named after the Akkadian king Rimush. [31]
43 Asinum Unknown, inscriptions fragmentary, 17th century BC Grandson of Shamshi-Adad I Deposed and driven out by the vice-regent Puzur-Sin on account of his Amorite ancestry, replaced with Ashur-dugul as king. [32]

Babylonian domination of Assyria (1706–1700 BC)Edit

This period is referred to as one of "seven usurpers" in the Assyrian King List.[3] Seven competing claimants reigned for a total of just six years.[33]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
44 Ashur-dugul
aš-šur-du-gul
"Look to (the god) Aššur!"
c. 1706 BC — c.1700 BC
(6 years)
Usurper, unrelated to previous kings Six competing claimants claimed to be kings during Ashur-dugul's reign. [3][33]
45 Ashur-apla-idi Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings [3][33]
46 Nasir-Sin Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings [3][33]
47 Sin-namir Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings [3][33]
48 Ipqi-Ishtar Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings [3][33]
49 Adad-salulu Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings [3][33]
50 Adasi Unknown Usurper, unrelated to previous kings Credited with freeing Assyria from Amorite and Babylonian influence. [34]

Adaside dynasty (1700–1380 BC)Edit

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
51 Bel-bani
Bēlu-bāni
"the Lord is the creator"
c. 1700 BC — c.1692 BC
(8 years)
Son of Adasi Founder of the Adaside dynasty, which would endure for centuries. As its founder and their ancestors, Bel-bani attained a semi-mythical status for later kings. [35]
52 Libaya c. 1692 BC — c.1674 BC
(17 years)
Son or brother of Bel-bani Assyria appears to have been a relatively peaceful, secure and stable nation during Libaya's reign. [34][35]
53 Sharma-Adad I c. 1674 BC — c.1662 BC
(12 years)
Son of Libaya or brother of Bel-bani [3]
54 Iptar-Sin
Ib-Tar-Sîn
c. 1662 BC — c.1650 BC
(12 years)
Son of Sharma-Adad I or brother of Bel-bani [3]
55 Bazaya
Bāzāiu
c. 1649 BC — c.1622 BC
(28 years)
Son or great-uncle of Iptar-Sin [3][36]
56 Lullaya
Lulāiu
c. 1621 BC — c.1616 BC
(6 years)
Usurper, unrelated to the Adaside dynasty Reigned during a quiet and uneventful period of Assyrian history. [3][37]
57 Shu-Ninua
Šu-Ninua
"he of Ishtar"
c. 1615 BC — c.1602 BC
(14 years)
Son of Bazaya [3]
58 Sharma-Adad II c. 1601 BC — c.1599 BC
(3 years)
Son of Shu-Ninua [3]
59 Erishum III
e-ri-šu
c. 1599 BC — c.1585 BC
(13 years)
Son of Sharma-Adad II [3]
60 Shamshi-Adad II
Šam-ši-Adad
c. 1585 BC — c.1580 BC
(6 years)
Son of Erishum III [3]
61 Ishme-Dagan II
Išme-Dagān
"(the god) Dagan has heard"
c. 1579 BC — c.1562 BC
(16 years)
Son of Shamshi-Adad II [3]
62 Shamshi-Adad III
Šam-ši-Adad
c. 1561 BC — c.1545 BC
(16 years)
Nephew of Sharma-Adad II [3]
63 Ashur-nirari I
Aššur-nārāri
"Aššur is my help"
c. 1544 BC — c.1518 BC
(26 years)
Son of Ishme-Dagan II [3]
64 Puzur-Ashur III
Puzur-Aššur
"servant of Ashur"
c. 1517 BC — c.1493 BC
(24 years)
Son of Ashur-nirari I [3]
65 Enlil-nasir I c. 1492 BC — c.1479 BC
(13 years)
Son of Puzur-Ashur III [3]
66 Nur-ili c. 1479 BC — c.1467 BC
(12 years)
Son of Enlil-nasir I [3]
67 Ashur-shaduni
Aššur-šaddûni
"(the god) Aššur (is) our mountain"
c.1467 BC
(1 month)
Son of Nur-ili Deposed by Ashur-rabi I, his successor to the throne. [3]
68 Ashur-rabi I
Aššur-rabi
"(the god) Aššur is great"
Unknown, inscriptions fragmentary, 15th century BC Usurper, son of Enlil-nasir I, uncle of Ashur-shaduni [3]
69 Ashur-nadin-ahhe I
Aššur-nādin-ahhē
"(the god) Aššur has given a brother"
Unknown, inscriptions fragmentary, 15th century BC Son of Ashur-rabi I During the reign of Ashur-nadin-ahhe I, Assyria became a sporadic vassal of Mitanni. He was eventually overthrown by his brother Enlil-nasir II. [3][38]
70 Enlil-nasir II c. 1420 BC — c.1415 BC
(5 years)
Usurper, brother of Ashur-nadin-ahhe I, son of Ashur-rabi I [3]
71 Ashur-nirari II
Aššur-nārāri
"Aššur is my help"
c. 1414 BC — c.1408 BC
(6 years)
Brother of Enlil-nasir II, son of Ashur-rabi I Erroneously stated by the Assyrian King List to be the son of Enlil-nasir II, his own inscriptions put him as a son of Ashur-rabi I. [3][9]
72 Ashur-bel-nisheshu
Aššūr-bēl-nīšēšu
"(the god) Aššur (is) lord of his people"
c. 1407 BC — c.1399 BC
(8 years)
Son of Ashur-nirari II [3]
73 Ashur-rim-nisheshu
Aššūr-rā’im-nīšēšu
"(the god) Aššur loves his people"
c. 1398 BC — c.1391 BC
(7 years)
Brother of Ashur-bel-nisheshu, son of Ashur-nirari II Known to have reconstructed the inner city wall of Aššur. [3]
74 Ashur-nadin-ahhe II
Aššur-nādin-ahhē
"(the god) Aššur has given a brother"
c. 1391 BC — c.1380 BC
(12 years)
Son of Ashur-rim-nisheshu Considered to be the final king of the Old Assyrian period. [3]

Middle Assyrian kings (1380–911 BC)Edit

Adaside dynasty, continued (1392–911 BC)Edit

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
75 Eriba-Adad I
Erība-Adad
"[the god] Adad has replaced"
c. 1380 BC — c.1353 BC
(27 years)
Brother of Ashur-nadin-ahhe II, son of Ashur-rim-nisheshu During Eriba-Adad I's reign, Assyria finally broke free of the Mitanni Empire's control, signalling the start of the Middle Assyrian Empire. [3][39][40][41]
76 Ashur-uballit I
Aššur-uballiṭ
"(the god) Aššur will give life"
c. 1353 BC — c.1318 BC
(35 years)
Son of Eriba-Adad I Under Ashur-uballit I, Assyria began to be transformed into a true empire. He successfully conquered the Mitanni, former overlords over the Assyrians, and led a successful campaign against Babylon. [3][39][40][41]
77 Enlil-nirari
Enlīl-nārāri
"Enlil is my helper"
c. 1317 BC — c.1308 BC
(10 years)
Son of Ashur-uballit I Enlil-nirari married his sister Muballiṭat-Šērūa to the Kassite Babylonian king Burna-Buriaš II, leading to his nephews subsequently ascending to the Babylonian throne. [3][39][40][41]
78 Arik-den-ili
Arīk-den-ili
"long-lasting is the judgment of god"
c. 1307 BC — c.1296 BC
(12 years)
Son of Enlil-nirari Arik-den-ili began the Assyrian royal traditions of annual military campaigns. He undertook many himself, notably warring far to both the west and east of Aššur. [3][39][40][41]
79 Adad-nirari I
Adad-nārārī
"Adad is my helper"
c. 1295 BC — c.1264 BC
(31 years)
Son of Arik-den-ili The earliest Assyrian king whose annals survive in any detail, Adad-nārārī I achieved major military victories that further strengthened Assyria. He called himself the "pacifier of all enemies above and below". [3][39][40][41]
80 Shalmaneser I
Šulmanu-ašaridu
"the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent"
c. 1263 BC — c.1234 BC
(30 years)
Son of Adad-nirari I One of the first Assyrian kings who was known to deport his defeated enemies to various lands rather than simply slaughtering them all. Noteworthy for completely conquering and incorporating the Mitanni kingdom into Assyria. [3][39][40][41]
81 Tukulti-Ninurta I
Tukultī-Ninurta
"my trust is in [the warrior god] Ninurta"
c. 1233 BC — c.1197 BC
(36 years)
Son of Shalmaneser I In the first half of his reign, Tukulti-Ninurta defeated the hittites and incorporated some of their territory in Asia Minor and the Levant. Assyrian control was retained over Urartu and Tukulti-Ninurta's victory over Babylon and his conquest of this rival kingdom ensured full Assyrian supremacy over Mesopotamia. He was the first ruler in history to call himself "king of kings". [3][39][40][41]
82 Ashur-nadin-apli
Aššūr-nādin-apli
"Aššur is the giver of an heir"
c. 1197 BC — c.1194 BC
(4 years)
Usurper, son of Tukulti-Ninurta I Deposed his father and took the throne for himself, ruling for just four years. Murdered, possibly because of him overthrowing his father. [3][39][40][41]
83 Ashur-nirari III
Aššur-nārāri
"Aššur is my help"
c. 1193 BC — c.1188 BC
(6 years)
Son or nephew of Ashur-nadin-apli Possibly quite young when ascending to the throne, as his grand vizier Ilī-padâ was very prominent during his reign. Violently swept aside by his successor. [3][39][40][41]
84 Enlil-kudurri-usur
Enlilbe-kudúr-uṣur
c. 1187 BC — c.1183 BC
(5 years)
Usurper, son of Tukulti-Ninurta I Seized the throne from the young Ashur-nirari III, deposed himself after a brief reign of five years. [3][39][40][41]
85 Ninurta-apal-Ekur
Ninurta-apal-ekur
"Ninurta is the heir of the Ekur"
c. 1182 BC — 1180 BC
(3 years)
Usurper, descendant of Eriba-Adad I Son of the grand vizier Ilī-padâ and a descendant of Eriba-Adad I, seized the throne by force after the Babylonians defeated Enlil-kudurri-usur. [3][39][40][41]
86 Ashur-dan I
Aššur-dān
1179 BC–1133 BC
(47 years)
Son of Ashur-nadin-apli Beginning with Ashur-dan I's reign, dates are consistent and uncontroversial. Led successful campaigns and raids against the Suhu and the Babylonians. [3][39][40][41]
87 Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur
Ninurta-tukultī-Aššur
"Ninurta's trust is in Aššur"
1133 BC
(less than a year)
Son of Ashur-dan I Deposed and exiled from Assyria by his brother Mutakkil-nusku. Took refuge in the city of Sišil at the Babylonian border. [3][39][40][41]
88 Mutakkil-nusku
Mutakkil-nusku
"he whom Nusku endows with confidencer"
1133 BC
(less than a year)
Usurper, brother of Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur, son of Ashur-dan I Deposed and exiled his brother Ninurta-tukulti-Ashur, later engaged him in battle at Sišil, after which both brothers disappear from history, both of them possibly falling in the battle. [3][39][40][41]
89 Ashur-resh-ishi I
Aššur-rēša-iši
"Aššur has lifted my head"
1133 BC–1115 BC
(18 years)
Son of Mutakkil-nusku Determined to restore the glory of Assyria, Ashur-resh-ishi I titled himself as mutēr gimilli māt Aššur, the “avenger of Assyria". Led campaigns beyond the Zagros Mountains and inflicted defeats on Babylon. [3][39][40][41]
90 Tiglath-Pileser I
Tukultī-apil-Ešarra
"my trust is in the son of the Ešarra"
1115 BC–1076 BC
(40 years)
Son of Ashur-resh-ishi I One of the greatest Assyrian conquerors, Tiglath-Pileser I is known for his wide-ranging military campaigns, his enthusiasm for building projects, and his interest in cuneiform tablet collections. Under Tiglath-Pileser I, Assyria became the leading power in the Middle East, a position it would retain for the next five centuries or so. [3][39][40][41]
91 Asharid-apal-Ekur
Ašarēd-apil-Ekur
"the heir of the Ekur is foremost"
1076 BC–1074 BC
(2 years)
Son of Tiglath-Pileser I The end of Tiglath-Pileser I's lengthy reign saw turmoil engulf Assyria, his oldest son only reigning for two years. [3][39][40][41]
92 Ashur-bel-kala
Aššūr-bēl-kala
"Aššur is lord of all"
1074 BC–1056 BC
(18 years)
Brother of Asharid-apal-Ekur, son of Tiglath-Pileser I Ashur-bel-kala's chaotic reign saw the collapse of the Middle Assyrian Empire as hordes of Arameans invaded the western borders. Also remembered for his impressive zoological collection. [3][39][40][41]
93 Eriba-Adad II
Erība-Adad
"[the god] Adad has replaced"
1056 BC–1054 BC
(2 years)
Son of Ashur-bel-kala Claimed to have gone on wide-ranging military campaigns similar to those of Tiglath-Pileser I. Deposed by his uncle Shamshi-Adad after only two years on the throne. [3][39][40][41]
94 Shamshi-Adad IV
Šam-ši-Adad
1054 BC–1050 BC
(4 years)
Usurper, uncle of Eriba-Adad II, son of Tiglath-Pileser I Probably fairly elderly when he seized the throne after having lived in exile in Babylon. [3][39][40][41]
95 Ashurnasirpal I
Aššur-nāṣir-apli
"the god Aššur is the protector of the heir"
1049 BC–1031 BC
(19 years)
Son of Shamshi-Adad IV Ruled during a troubled period of Assyrian history, marked by famine and war with nomads from the deserts to the west. [3][39][40][41]
96 Shalmaneser II
Šulmanu-ašaridu
"the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent"
1031 BC–1019 BC
(12 years)
Son of Ashurnasirpal I [3][39][40][41]
97 Ashur-nirari IV
Aššur-nārāri
"Aššur is my help"
1019 BC–1013 BC
(6 years)
Son of Shalmaneser II The short six-year reign of Ashur-nirari IV was marked by confusion and a war against Babylon. [3][39][40][41]
98 Ashur-rabi II
Aššur-rabi
"(the god) Aššur is great"
1013 BC–972 BC
(41 years)
Son of Ashurnasirpal I Might possibly have deposed his nephew and predecessor. The reign of Ashur-rabi II, one of the longest of any Assyrian king, was marked by decline and military setbacks. [3][39][40][41]
99 Ashur-resh-ishi II
Aššur-rēša-iši
"Aššur has lifted my head"
972 BC–967 BC
(5 years)
Son of Ashur-rabi II The poorly attested and short reign of Ashur-resh-ishi II is often overshadowed by the long reigns of his predecessor and successor. [3][39][40][41]
100 Tiglath-Pileser II
Tukultī-apil-Ešarra
"my trust is in the son of the Ešarra"
967 BC–935 BC
(32 years)
Son of Ashur-resh-ishi II Despite its length, little is known of the reign of Tiglath-Pileser II. [3][39][40][41]
101 Ashur-dan II
Aššur-dān
935 BC–912 BC
(22 years)
Son of Tiglath-Pileser II Ashur-dan II recaptured previously held Assyrian territory and restored Assyria to its natural borders, from Tur Abdin (southeast Turkey) to the foothills beyond Arbel (Iraq). His military and economic expansions benefited later kings and enabled the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. [3][39][40][41]

Neo-Assyrian kings (911–609 BC)Edit

Adaside dynasty, continued (911–745 BC)Edit

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
102 Adad-nirari II
Adad-nārārī
"Adad is my helper"
935 BC–891 BC
(44 years)
Son of Ashur-dan II Succeeding his father after a minor dynastic struggle, Adad-nirari II subjugated areas previously under only nominal Assyrian vassalage and finally defeated the Arameans. He successfully defeated both the Hittites and the Babylonians in a series of battles. [3][42][43]
103 Tukulti-Ninurta II
Tukultī-Ninurta
"my trust is in [the warrior god] Ninurta"
891 BC–884 BC
(8 years)
Son of Adad-nirari II Tukulti-Ninurta II consolidated the gains made by his father over the Hittites, Babylonians and Arameans, and successfully campaigned in the Zagros Mountains. [3][42][43]
104 Ashurnasirpal II
Aššur-nāṣir-apli
"the god Aššur is the protector of the heir"
884 BC–859 BC
(26 years)
Son of Tukulti-Ninurta II Ashurnasirpal II led great conquests throughout the Middle East, reaching the Mediterranean and subjugating Babylon in the south. He is famous for the brutal inscriptions where he describes how he handled those who revolted against his rule and his new great capital city of Kalhu. [3][42][43]
105 Shalmaneser III
Šulmanu-ašaridu
"the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent"
859 BC–824 BC
(35 years)
Son of Ashurnasirpal II The long reign of Shalmaneser III was a constant series of campaigns against the eastern tribes, the Babylonians, the nations of Mesopotamia and Syria, as well as Kizzuwadna and Urartu. His armies penetrated to Lake Van and the Taurus Mountains; the Hittites of Carchemish were compelled to pay tribute, and the kingdoms of Hamath and Aram Damascus were subdued. [3][42][43]
106 Shamshi-Adad V
Šam-ši-Adad
824 BC–811 BC
(13 years)
Son of Shalmaneser III Shamshi-Adad V's ascension to the throne was contested by his brother Assur-danin-pal who was defeated after four years of civil war. Later, Shamshi-Adad V campaigned in the south against Babylon. [3][42][43]
107 Adad-nirari III
Adad-nārārī
"Adad is my helper"
811 BC–783 BC
(27 years)
Son of Shamshi-Adad V Came to the throne at a quite young age, leading his mother Shammuramat to act as regent for the first five years of his reign. Adad-nirari III led several military campaigns with the purpose of regaining the strength Assyria enjoyed in the times of his grandfather Shalmaneser III. [3][42][43]
108 Shalmaneser IV
Šulmanu-ašaridu
"the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent"
783 BC–773 BC
(11 years)
Son of Adad-nirari III Shalmaneser IV led several campaigns against Urartu. His rulership was severely limited by the growing influence of high dignitaries. [3][42][43]
109 Ashur-dan III
Aššur-dān
772 BC–755 BC
(18 years)
Brother of Shalmaneser IV, son of Adad-nirari III Ashur-dan III's reign was difficult, with the growing influence of military officials, two plagues and a large revolt. [3][42][43]
110 Ashur-nirari V
Aššur-nārāri
"Aššur is my help"
755 BC–745 BC
(11 years)
Brother of Ashur-Dan III, son of Adad-nirari III Due to difficulties at court, Ashur-nirari IV could not go on military campaigns for the first four years of his reign (it was customary for the king to campaign every year). He was eventually deposed and killed by Tiglath-Pileser III. [3][42][43]

Pre-Sargonid kings (745–722 BC)Edit

The kings Tiglath-Pileser III and Shalmaneser V are sometimes referred to as the two "pre-Sargonid" kings since they were directly related to the Sargonids but predated the traditional founder of the Sargonid dynasty, Sargon II (722–705 BC).[44]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
111 Tiglath-Pileser III
Tukultī-apil-Ešarra
"my trust is in the son of the Ešarra"
745–727 BC
(18 years)
Usurper, claimed to be the son of Adad-nirari III Originally a general by the name of Pulu, Tiglath-Pileser III seized the throne of Assyria in a bloody coup d'état in the midst of a civil war and slaughtered the royal family. Credited with introducing advanced civil, military, and political systems. He took the throne name Pul in Babylon. [45][46]
112 Shalmaneser V
Šulmanu-ašarid
"the god Shulmanu is pre-eminent"
727–722 BC
(5 years)
Son of Tiglath-Pileser III Continued the policies of Tiglath-Pileser III but was not as effective militarily, appears to have been a poor administrator who overtaxed the citizens of the empire. Probably assassinated in a coup d'état by his younger brother Sargon II, who took the throne. [44]

Sargonid dynasty (722–609 BC)Edit

The Sargonid dynasty was founded by Sargon II when he usurped the throne from Shalmaneser V. It was the last ruling dynasty of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, ruling from 722 BC to the fall of the empire in 609 BC. The period is usually seen as the highest point of ancient Assyrian culture and the period in which the empire reached its maximum military power. Following the 631 BC death of Ashurbanipal, often seen as the last great Assyrian king, the empire swiftly collapsed until its conquest by the Median and Neo-Babylonian Empires.[44]

No. Image King Reign Succession Notes Ref
113 Sargon II
Šarru-ukīn
"the king is legitimate"
722–705 BC
(17 years)
Brother of Shalmaneser V, son of Tiglath-Pileser III Usurping the throne from his inept brother Shalmaneser V, Sargon II was a brilliant administrator and military leader who expanded the empire to its greatest extent yet. Sargon's successful campaigns saw the treasury of Assyria grow and he eventually founded a new capital, Dur-Sharrukin ("fortress of Sargon"). He was killed in battle by the Tabal people in Anatolia. [44]
114 Sennacherib
Sîn-ahhe-erība
"Sîn has replaced my brothers"
705–681 BC
(24 years)
Son of Sargon II Sennacherib is most famous for conquering Israel, Judah and many greek-speaking parts of Anatolia. Sennacherib moved the Assyrian capital to Nineveh, which he expanded with great gardens and architecture. Sennacherib plundered and desecrated Babylon, seen as great sacrilege, and was assassinated in a conspiracy by two of his sons (including his successor Esarhaddon). [44]
115 Esarhaddon
Aššur-aḫa-iddina
"Ashur has given a brother"
681–669 BC
(12 years)
Son of Sennacherib Esarhaddon defeated his brother in a civil war and rebuilt Babylon, declaring that the previous destruction of the city was the will of the gods. Esarhaddon invaded Africa, conquering both Egypt and Kush. His reign saw advancement in medicine, literacy, mathematics, architecture and astronomy. [44]
116 Ashurbanipal
Aššur-bāni-apli
"Ashur is the creator of an heir"
668–631 BC
(39 years)
Son of Esarhaddon Famous for the great library he collected at Nineveh, Ashurbanipal continued the policies of his father. He completed the subjugation of Egypt and defeated the Elamites. Often regarded as the last great Assyrian king. [44]
117 Ashur-etil-ilani
Aššur-etel-ilāni
"Ashur is pre-eminent among the gods"
631–627 BC
(3 years)
Son of Ashurbanipal A weak ruler, Ashur-etil-ilani's reign was a catastrophy for the Assyrians with enemies invading across the borders and his brother Sin-shar-ishkun rebelling in an attempt to seize the throne. Kalhu(Nimrud), Ashurnasirpal II's capital, was razed by invading Scythians, Cimmerians, Medes and Persians and the Assyrian army took refuge at Nineveh. [44]
118 Sin-shumu-lishir
Sîn-šumu-līšir
626 BC
(1 year)
Usurper, no relation to previous kings Formerly a general under Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shumu-lishir deposed him and took the throne but would only rule for about a year. [44]
119 Sinsharishkun
Sîn-šarru-iškun
626–612 BC
(14 years)
Son of Ashurbanipal Sinsharishkun's reign saw the ultimate collapse of the Assyrian empire, repeatedly losing territory to a resurgent Babylon. in 612 BC, Nineveh was sacked, burned and razed by the coalition of enemies that had invaded during Ashur-etil-ilani's reign. The city was so thoroughly destroyed that within two generations, no one knew where it had lied. [44]
120 Ashur-uballit II
Aššur-uballiṭ
"(the god) Aššur will give life"
612–609 BC
(3 years)
Unclear relation to the royal family, possibly the son of Ashurbanipal Refusing the submit to the Neo-Babylonian empire, Ashur-uballit II fought his way out of the besieged Nineveh in 612 BC and rallied the remainder of the Assyrian army at the city of Harran, supported by Egypt. Harran was taken in 610 BC and Ashur-uballit defeated in 609 BC when he attempted to retake it. [47]

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ a b Karlsson 2017, p. 2.
  2. ^ a b Liverani 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx Assyrian King List.
  4. ^ Rowton 1970, pp. 194–195.
  5. ^ La Boda 1994, p. 89.
  6. ^ Azize 1998, p. 1–27.
  7. ^ a b c Meissner 1990, p. 101–102.
  8. ^ Hagens 2005, p. 24.
  9. ^ a b Hagens 2005, p. 27.
  10. ^ Hallo 1980, p. 193.
  11. ^ Stevens 2014, p. 73.
  12. ^ a b Karlsson 2017, p. 1.
  13. ^ Karlsson 2017, p. 12.
  14. ^ Soares 2017, p. 21.
  15. ^ Soares 2017, p. 28.
  16. ^ Radner 2010, p. 435.
  17. ^ a b c Roux 1994, p. 187.
  18. ^ a b Rowton 1970, pp. 202–204.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Glassner 2004, p. 137.
  20. ^ Lewy 1966, p. 21.
  21. ^ a b Dumbrill 2015, p. 97.
  22. ^ a b Roux 1994, p. 543.
  23. ^ Lewy 1966, p. 746–747.
  24. ^ a b Brinkman 2001, p. 63.
  25. ^ Lewy 1966, p. 22.
  26. ^ a b c d e f Glassner 2004, p. 136–144.
  27. ^ a b c d e Michel 2002, p. 17.
  28. ^ Bertman 2005, p. 88.
  29. ^ Leick 2001, p. 139.
  30. ^ Leick 2001.
  31. ^ Radner 2008, p. 371.
  32. ^ Roux 1994, p. 123.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g Radner 1998, p. 179.
  34. ^ a b Roux 1994.
  35. ^ a b Veenhof 2008, p. 24.
  36. ^ Grayson 1972, p. 30.
  37. ^ Dalley 2009, p. 3.
  38. ^ Leick 2001, p. 29.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Brinkman 1973.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Grayson 1987.
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Newgrosh 1999.
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wilkinson et al. 2005.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bedford 2001.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mark 2014.
  45. ^ Tadmor 1994, p. 29.
  46. ^ Frye, Wolfram & Dietz 2016.
  47. ^ Fall of Nineveh.

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WebsitesEdit